For stress relief, there is no substitute for views of nature, the Seattle Times reports. A University of Washington study found that students who faced a stressful task returned to a normal heart rate most quickly while looking out the window at trees and grass.
But contrary to other studies, looking at a plasma TV displaying an image of the view from the window decreased heart rates as much as looking at a plaster wall. "The thinking is that when you digitize nature, you get all the benefits of nature," said the paper's author. "But they are not substitutions for nature." (Read more nature stories.)