The Relationship between Levels of Greenery and Landscaping at Track and Field Sites, Anxiety and Sports Performance of Collegiate Track and Field Athletes
Researchers wonder what it takes to improve athletic performance in athletes. Research has suggested that plants reduce anxiety, and reduced anxiety could, in turn, improve athletic performance. Research also shows that plants have psychological and restorative value such as improving coping mechanisms in human subjects as well as improving concentration and ability to focus attention that could affect performance of athletes. The main objective of this research was to investigate the impact of greenery/landscaping on athletic performance and cognitive and somatic anxiety in track and field athletes. Four university track and field teams and 128 athletes participated in the study. Individual athlete performance and Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 cognitive and somatic anxiety tests were collected from 7 track meets. Greenness/landscaping level was determined by Likert-scale rating averages from professional horticulturists who individually rated each site. A regression analysis found that greenness level was a predictor (P=0.000) of best performance by athletes when performance level of athletes was the dependent variable and greenness level was the predictor. More of the athletes' best performance marks were at the track and field site that had the highest greenery rating (3.16), and many of the athletes' worst performance marks were achieved at the site that had the lowest greenery rating (1.73). The average norms recorded from all the track and field athletes across the nation were 20.34 for cognitive anxiety and 18.73 for somatic anxiety. A correlation analysis showed that greenness ratings at the different track and field sites affected all athletes' anxiety levels equally. All athletes regardless of event they competed in performed better at sites with higher greenness ratings. All athletes performed similarly at each of the track and field sites regardless of ethnicity, gender or grade classification.
Human-plant relationships, Performance anxiety, Track and field, Sports, Athletes
Matthews, J. (2010). <i>The relationship between levels of greenery and landscaping at track and field sites, anxiety and sports performance of collegiate track and field athletes</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.