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Psychological Benefits of Walking through Forest Areas.

Abstract

This study aimed to clarify the psychological benefits of brief walks through forest areas. In addition, we aimed to examine the associations between psychological responses and trait anxiety levels. Five-hundred-and-eighty-five participants (mean age, 21.7 ± 1.6 years) were instructed to walk predetermined courses through forest (test) and city (control) areas for 15 min. The Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were used to assess participants' psychological responses and trait anxiety levels, respectively. The results revealed that walking through forest areas decreased the negative moods of "depression-dejection", "tension-anxiety", "anger-hostility", "fatigue", and "confusion" and improved the participants' positive mood of "vigor" compared with walking through city areas. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between participants' trait anxiety levels and their changes in the subscale of "depression-dejection" of POMS after walking through forest areas. A more effective reduction in the feeling of "depression-dejection" after walking through forest areas was observed for participants with high trait anxiety levels than for those with normal and low trait anxiety levels. This study showed the psychological benefits of walking through forest areas and identified a significant correlation between psychological responses to walking through forests and trait anxiety levels.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan. crsong1028@chiba-u.jp.Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan. ikei0224@ffpri.affrc.go.jp. Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan. ikei0224@ffpri.affrc.go.jp.Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea. bjpark@cnu.ac.kr.Department of Landscape Architecture, Hankyong National University, 327 Jungang-ro, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do 17579, Korea. lohawi@gmail.com.Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan. kagawa@ffpri.affrc.go.jp.Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan. ymiyazaki@faculty.chiba-u.jp.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30544682

Citation

Song, Chorong, et al. "Psychological Benefits of Walking Through Forest Areas." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 12, 2018.
Song C, Ikei H, Park BJ, et al. Psychological Benefits of Walking through Forest Areas. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(12).
Song, C., Ikei, H., Park, B. J., Lee, J., Kagawa, T., & Miyazaki, Y. (2018). Psychological Benefits of Walking through Forest Areas. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(12), doi:10.3390/ijerph15122804.
Song C, et al. Psychological Benefits of Walking Through Forest Areas. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 12 10;15(12) PubMed PMID: 30544682.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychological Benefits of Walking through Forest Areas. AU - Song,Chorong, AU - Ikei,Harumi, AU - Park,Bum-Jin, AU - Lee,Juyoung, AU - Kagawa,Takahide, AU - Miyazaki,Yoshifumi, Y1 - 2018/12/10/ PY - 2018/10/31/received PY - 2018/11/25/revised PY - 2018/12/06/accepted PY - 2018/12/15/entrez PY - 2018/12/14/pubmed PY - 2019/2/16/medline KW - brief walks KW - forest therapy KW - forests KW - individual difference KW - profile of mood state KW - psychological relaxation KW - shinrin-yoku KW - trait anxiety JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 15 IS - 12 N2 - This study aimed to clarify the psychological benefits of brief walks through forest areas. In addition, we aimed to examine the associations between psychological responses and trait anxiety levels. Five-hundred-and-eighty-five participants (mean age, 21.7 ± 1.6 years) were instructed to walk predetermined courses through forest (test) and city (control) areas for 15 min. The Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were used to assess participants' psychological responses and trait anxiety levels, respectively. The results revealed that walking through forest areas decreased the negative moods of "depression-dejection", "tension-anxiety", "anger-hostility", "fatigue", and "confusion" and improved the participants' positive mood of "vigor" compared with walking through city areas. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between participants' trait anxiety levels and their changes in the subscale of "depression-dejection" of POMS after walking through forest areas. A more effective reduction in the feeling of "depression-dejection" after walking through forest areas was observed for participants with high trait anxiety levels than for those with normal and low trait anxiety levels. This study showed the psychological benefits of walking through forest areas and identified a significant correlation between psychological responses to walking through forests and trait anxiety levels. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30544682/Psychological_Benefits_of_Walking_through_Forest_Areas L2 - http://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph15122804 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -