Powered by virtual realities: Promoting emotional recovery through Technology-Based recovery interventions
Previous research indicates that short work breaks in nature can facilitate emotional recovery, but during a workday nature is not always accessible. We conducted two intervention studies (N = 51; N = 101) applying virtual reality technology in a short work break and examined the effect of the degree of immersion into nature and the type of nature (stimulating vs. calming) on the restorative experience and, in turn, on affective states. The results revealed that high immersion promotes being away and perceived fascination. Being away mediated the effect of high immersion on increased positive and decreased negative affect. Perceived fascination mediated the effect of stimulating nature on increased positive affect in both studies and decreased negative affect in Study 2. The present research highlights the unique benefits of virtual realities, degrees of immersion and different types of nature for recovery interventions in organisations. Practitioner Summary: Integrating virtual realities into the work environment is an emerging topic. The present research demonstrates that a short technology-based intervention via virtual reality enhances emotional recovery. The results provide interesting possibilities for the design of work breaks in situations where nature is not within reach or not accessible.