Perceived place qualities, restorative effects and self-reported wellbeing benefits of visits to heritage sites: empirical evidence from a visitor survey in England

Eirini Gallou, David Uzzell, Joanna Sofaer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Heritage sites are complex environments that cannot be easily be located within a nature – built space dichotomy. Although a small but growing body of evidence supports the potential of visits to heritage sites in generating wellbeing benefits, there is a gap in understanding how such benefits may be related to the perceived qualities or affordances of heritage sites. We present an exploratory survey instrument designed and tested to generate empirical evidence on the association between the qualities of heritage sites, the restorative effects of a heritage visit, and the extent to which these are positively associated with self-reported subjective wellbeing benefits. The survey was given to sample of 780 visitors to 7 heritage sites in England from June to October 2020. Factor analysis of responses led to extraction of 3 core components related to how participants evaluated their experience of the qualities of place, and 2 core components linked to the restorative effects of the visit. Using these core components to create composite variables, regression models were fitted to understand which qualities of place and effects of the visit predict self-reported wellbeing benefits. The results suggest that different components of heritage sites may contribute to increase in positive affect and reduction in anxiety elements of wellbeing. They suggest potential therapeutic benefits of visits to heritage sites for self-directed visits, and thus potential means of sustainably delivering support for public wellbeing at scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100106
Number of pages8
JournalWellbeing, Space and Society
Volume3
Early online date16 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • attention restoration theory
  • heritage sites
  • restorative effects
  • subjective wellbeing

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived place qualities, restorative effects and self-reported wellbeing benefits of visits to heritage sites: empirical evidence from a visitor survey in England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this