Article

Relationship between psychological responses and physical environment in forest settings

Authors:
  • Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
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Abstract

The present study aimed to clarify the relationship between psychological responses to forest and urban environmental settings and the physical variables that characterize these environments, by examining the psychological responses of 168 subjects to their physical environment. Field experiments were conducted in 14 forests and 14 urban areas across Japan. The semantic differential (SD) method was employed in which a questionnaire was administered to subjects prior to their walks in the forests and urban areas. In addition, the profile of mood states (POMS) questionnaire was administered before and after the walks, as well as before and after they sat and viewed the forest and urban landscapes. The environmental variables measured were air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, wind velocity, and two indices of thermal comfort [predicted mean vote (PMV) and predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD)]. Responses to the SD questionnaire indicated that compared to urban settings, forest settings are perceived as being significantly more enjoyable, friendly, natural, and sacred. The POMS measures of tension and anxiety (T-A), depression and dejection (D), anger and hostility (A-H), vigor (V), confusion (C), fatigue (F), and total mood disturbance (TMD) showed significant differences between the forests and urban areas. These results strongly support the suggestion that forest settings have attention restoration effects. The psychological responses to physical environments were also significantly related to air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, wind velocity, PMV, and PPD. The results of this study might be useful in designing restoration environments in urban areas.

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... Psychological parameters such as current mood states, feelings and expectations could be the reason of this gap [5,[8][9][10][11]. For instance, Park et al. [9] depicted that positive psychology of humans improved their outdoor thermal comfort and the authors found that forest settings had attention restoration effects on the humans [9]. ...
... Psychological parameters such as current mood states, feelings and expectations could be the reason of this gap [5,[8][9][10][11]. For instance, Park et al. [9] depicted that positive psychology of humans improved their outdoor thermal comfort and the authors found that forest settings had attention restoration effects on the humans [9]. In another study, Wang and Liu [10] investigated the relationship between emotional state and thermal sensation of 18 college students in China. ...
... Psychological parameters such as current mood states, feelings and expectations could be the reason of this gap [5,[8][9][10][11]. For instance, Park et al. [9] depicted that positive psychology of humans improved their outdoor thermal comfort and the authors found that forest settings had attention restoration effects on the humans [9]. In another study, Wang and Liu [10] investigated the relationship between emotional state and thermal sensation of 18 college students in China. ...
... Scores for the comfortable, relaxed, and natural parameters, as well as the vigor subscale of the POMS, were significantly higher after viewing a forest landscape than after viewing a city area, whereas the scores for the subscales for negative feelings, including tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, fatigue, and confusion, were significantly lower, as was the total mood disturbance score and the STAI anxiety dimension score. These results, which demonstrate the psychological benefits of viewing a forest, are to some extent consistent with previous findings of the effects on men of viewing forest scenery or walking in forests [12,14,[50][51][52]. ...
... Differences in the resulting physiological responses between forest and city environments may be influenced by various physical factors, such as: temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, and wind speed, as well as by differences in stimuli affecting the five senses. Park et al. [51] reported significant differences in environmental variables such as air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, and two indices of thermal comfort (predicted mean vote (PMV) and predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD)) between forest and city environments during the summer in Japan. The findings of this study indicate that forests have significantly lower temperatures, radiant heat, PMV and PPD, and higher humidity compared to city areas. ...
... The findings of this study indicate that forests have significantly lower temperatures, radiant heat, PMV and PPD, and higher humidity compared to city areas. These differences in environmental variables and thermal comfort were significantly related to the psychological responses of participants, and suggest that these factors contribute to why people feel more comfortable in forests versus city areas [51]. However, studies focusing on the influence of environmental factors on human physiological responses are lacking, and in the future, an approach from this point of view is necessary. ...
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Research Highlights: This study demonstrated that viewing forest landscapes induced physical and mental health benefits on young women. Background and Objectives: The health-promoting effects of spending time in forests have received increasing attention; however, there is a lack of evidence-based research investigating the effects of spending time in forests on women. This study aimed to evaluate the physiological and psychological effects of viewing forest landscapes on young women. Materials and Methods: The experiments were conducted in six forests and six city areas and included 65 women (mean age, 21.0 ± 1.3 years). Participants viewed a forest and a city area for 15 min, during which their heart rate variability and heart rate were measured continuously. Blood pressure and pulse rate were measured before and after the viewing. After the viewing, participants’ psychological responses were assessed using the modified semantic differential method, Profile of Mood States (POMS), and the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results: Compared with viewing city areas, viewing forest landscapes was associated with significantly higher parasympathetic nervous activity and lower sympathetic nervous activity and heart rate. Moreover, scores of the comfortable, relaxed, and natural parameters and vigor subscales of POMS were significantly higher with forest viewing. The scores of negative feelings, such as tension–anxiety, depression–dejection, anger–hostility, fatigue, and confusion, were significantly lower, as were scores for the total mood disturbance observed using POMS and the anxiety dimension observed using STAI. Conclusions: Viewing forest landscapes resulted in physiological and psychological relaxations in young women.
... For all analyses, a p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. This study used a one-sided test because we hypothesized that based on previous studies, high tree density during recovery after exercise in summer indicates a higher thermal comfort, as well as physiological and psychological relaxation effects on humans [17][18][19][20]23]. Figure 5 shows the time-dependent shifts in PMV values per min. PMV values in high forest density were lower than those in low forest density during entire periods, including "rest", "during exercise", and "after exercise". ...
... These results were partially consistent with those of a previous study. Park et al. [18] compared thermal comfort between forest and city areas while standing in the summer. According to their results, PMV values in the forest were significantly lower during forenoon (10:00-13:00) than in the city areas, but there was no significant difference with afternoon (13:00-16:00). ...
... We revealed that the thermal comfort and physiological and psychological relaxation effects after physical activities in summer were higher in a forest with high tree density than in those with low tree density. Previous studies have investigated physical environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, to evaluate thermal comfort, or only psychological reactions among human factors [15][16][17][18][19][20]23]. Comprehensive investigation of physical environmental factors and physiological and psychological responses of the human body is lacking. ...
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This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the thermal comfort and physiological and psychological effects according to tree density in forest environments during rest and during and after physical activities in the summer. Participants consisted of 18 male university students (average age: 24.0 ± 1.6 years old), and a within-subjects experimental design was used. Participants sat on a chair for 5 min to rest, performed a step-box exercise for 8 min, and then sat on the chair again, and rested for 10 min in a forest with high tree density (85.6%) and one with low tree density (12.2% as a control). Thermal comfort (predicted mean vote; PMV and percentage of dissatisfied; PPD) and physiological and psychological responses were measured. We investigated and analyzed the changes in “rest”, “during exercise”, and “after exercise”. As a result, a forest with high tree density showed a statistically significant decrease in PMV and PPD values; an increase in parasympathetic nervous activity; a decrease in respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, and pulse rate; an improvement in mood state; an increase in comfortable, relaxed, and natural feelings; and more of an increase in personal thermal sensation during the recovery period after physical activities than in a forest with low tree density. In conclusion, a forest with high tree density during recovery after physical activities in the summer has higher thermal comfort and physiological and psychological relaxation effects on humans, as compared to one with low tree density.
... One study found perceived temperature to correlate with mental aspects like mood and anxiety (Elsadek, Liu, Lian, & Xie, 2019), while others have observed a wider range of 'acceptable' temperatures in forests, suggesting psychological benefits as a potential explanation (Jeong, Park, & Song, 2016). Inversely, higher thermal comfort levels in forests were shown to correlate with positive affect (Park et al., 2011). Together, these results suggest that thermal and mental states may interact, but little is known about the strength and generality of this interaction and about the forest as a mediating agent. ...
... There is also evidence for the opposite effect where better thermal comfort has mental wellbeing benefits. This is what was suggested by a study that found a correlation between subjective thermal comfort and positive mood variablesalthough, unlike our study, differences in objective thermal comfort between forest and city were not accounted for (Park et al., 2011). At last, another study found correlations between objective thermal comfort (PET) and mood outcomes, anxiety, vitality and restorativeness (Elsadek et al., 2019). ...
Article
As global warming and urbanisation intensify unabated, a growing share of the human population is exposed to dangerous heat levels. Trees and forests can effectively mitigate such heat alongside numerous health co-benefits like improved mental wellbeing. Yet, which forest types are objectively and subjectively coolest to humans, and how thermal and mental wellbeing interact, remain understudied. We surveyed 223 participants in peri-urban forests with varying biodiversity levels in Austria, Belgium and Germany. Using microclimate sensors, questionnaires and saliva cortisol measures, we monitored intra-individual changes in thermal and mental states from non-forest baseline to forest conditions. Forests reduced daytime modified Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (mPET; an indicator for perceived temperature) by an average of 9.2 °C. High diversity forests were the coolest, likely due to their higher stand density. Forests also lowered thermal sensation votes, with only 1 % of participants feeling ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ compared to 34 % under baseline conditions. Despite the desire for a temperature increase among 47 % participants under cool forest conditions, approximately two-thirds still reported feeling very comfortable, in contrast to only one-third under baseline conditions. Even at a constant perceived temperature, participants were 2.7 times more likely to feel warmer under baseline conditions compared to forests. A forest-induced psychological effect may underlie these discrepancies, as supported by significant improvements in positive and negative affect (emotional state), state anxiety and perceived stress observed in forests. Additionally, thermal and mental wellbeing were significantly correlated, indicating that forest environments might foster a synergy in wellbeing benefits.
... The results of our study show that contact with the forest environment contributes to improved mood. Several other studies have confirmed this [41,42]. Ochiai et al. [41] found that walking in the forest according to the guidelines of a standard "forest therapy" program induced physiological and psychological relaxation. ...
... Ochiai et al. [41] found that walking in the forest according to the guidelines of a standard "forest therapy" program induced physiological and psychological relaxation. Park et al. [42] noted the effects of relaxation and stress management in a forest environment using a pro-file questionnaire of mood states. His study found that walking in the woods and sitting and observing the forest landscape had an attention-restoring effect. ...
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Recently, many studies have been conducted on the impact of various elements of the natural environment, including forests, on human physical and mental health. However, little is known about the level of health benefits resulting from contact with forests depending on the type of physical activity undertaken. Therefore, in order to measure the impact of physical activity on the level of mental relaxation, a randomized experiment was conducted, which took into account three types of human physical activity: walking, cycling, and passive (without movement) observation of the forest. The study was carried out in the same forest and at the same time. Forty young people studying in Warsaw took part in the study. Four psychological questionnaires were used in the project before and after the experiment (Profile of Mood States, Schedule of Positive and Negative Affects, Recovery Scale, Subjective Vitality Scale). A pre-test was also performed in a university classroom. Research has shown that staying in the forest, regardless of the type of physical activity, brings positive health benefits in the form of an increase in positive feelings while reducing negative feelings. The results indicate that people who walk have the broadest range of benefits (cumulative benefits), in the form of less tension, reduced anger, fatigue, depression, increased concentration and greater vigor. Cyclists experienced significant benefits only in the form of reduced depression and greater vigor. The group passively observing the forest achieved statistically significant benefits only in terms of reducing fatigue and improving concentration. However, overall, the between-group results showed no statistically significant differences between the restorative effects of walking, cycling, and viewing the forest landscape. Each analyzed form of contact with the forest has a regenerating/regenerating effect (ROS scale) and contributes to the increase in vitality (SVS scale).
... Natural sights are related to life satisfaction [89]. Forest settings, compared to urban settings, are perceived as being significantly more enjoyable, friendly, natural, and sacred [81]. Brancato et al. [44] found that the physical environment influences affect and perceived restoration; pine forest walks were superior, compared to urban walks, in inducing happiness. ...
... They perceived shade as pleasant, when walking down a street. Park et al. [81] showed in both urban and forest settings that the psychological response "sense of enjoyable and friendly" was positively related to air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, and wind velocity when temperatures were around 20 degrees Celsius. ...
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Daily walks are recommended for health gains, and walkable urban environments are recommended as one strategy to combat climate change. Evidence of the relationship between physical environments and psychological health is increasing. The aim of this study was to systematically review and compile evidence regarding micro-scale characteristics in urban outdoor environments that impacted pedestrian short-term experience and/or long-term psychological health. The databases ScienceDirect, Scopus, PubMed, PsychInfo, and Google Scholar were used. To explore the area, a large heterogeneity in publications was allowed; therefore, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. From 63 publications, data items were extracted from full text and categorized according to the main study characteristics. Environmental characteristics impacting pedestrians psychologically were identified and categorized into themes: grey, green, blue, and white areas, and weather, temporalities, topography, person factors, and safety. Environmental factors were analyzed from the perspective of the circumplex model of human affect (negative/positive dimensions and activation/deactivation). The findings included the fact that urban pedestrians need both positively activating and deactivating (restorative) areas during walkabouts. Perceived safety is essential for experiencing the positive aspects of urban environments. Some characteristics interact differently or have different importance for health in different groups. To further develop research on pedestrian environments, psychological experiences should be included.
... Forest Medical is a new interdisciplinary science of alternative medicine, environmental medical and protective medicine categories that investigate the effects of the forest environment on human health (Li 2019b). In parallel with the developments in Japan, similar studies were carried out at the global level through the International Union of Forest Research Organizations with the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) action E39 project on forest and human health in Europe between 2004(Park et al. 2011. ...
... Research on psychology suggests that after people spend their time in the forest, their negative mood decreases, and their positive mood increases significantly (Tsunetsugu et al. 2013, Takayama et al. 2014. In similar studies, it was found that a short walk in a natural environment reduces negative emotions (Hartig et al. 2003, Berman et al. 2008, Park et al. 2011, Marselle et al. 2014) and physiological stress (Hartig et al. 2003, Marselle et al. 2014, provides a greater reduction and increase in positive emotions compared to urban environmental walking (Hartig et al. 2003, Berman et al. 2008, Marselle et al. 2014. In a study by Song et al. (2019) conducted with young women, it was found that taking a short walk in the forest reduced negative emotions such as tension-anxiety, depression-sadness, anger-hostility, fatigue and confusion, and provided psychological relief. ...
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Orman banyosu, orman yürüyüşleri yoluyla insanların sağlığını geliştirmek ve hastalıkları önlemek için ormanların iyileştirici etkilerini kullanan bir yaklaşımdır. Orman terapisi ve orman banyosu terimleri aynı anlamlarda kullanılmakla birlikte farkı uygulama şekilleridir. Orman terapisi uygulaması bu konuda eğitim almış profesyonel kişi eşliğinde yapılırken orman banyosunda terapist ormanın kendisidir. Orman banyosunun kardiyovasküler sistem, sinir sistemi, endokrin sistem, bağışıklık sistemi ve ruh sağlığı üzerindeki olumlu etkilerine bakıldığında kadın sağlığının korunması ve iyileştirilmesinde bir yaklaşım olarak kullanılabileceği düşünülmektedir. Bu bağlamda çalışmanın amacı orman banyosu ve orman terapisinin kadın sağlığı üzerindeki fizyolojik ve psikolojik etkilerinin incelenmesidir. Literatür taraması yapılarak ortaya konan bu çalışmada, konu üzerine yapılan ulusal ve uluslararası çalışmaların sonuçları derlenmiştir. Literatürde insan sağlığının korunmasında orman banyosu ve orman terapisinin pek çok olumlu etkisi bildirilmiştir. Orman terapisi ve orman banyosunun insan sağlığına etkileri konusunda sınırlı sayıda araştırma mevcut olup, ülkemizde bu konuda sağlık alanında bilimsel bir araştırmaya rastlanmamıştır. Ormanlar açısından zengin olan ülkemizde bu uygulamaların kullanılabileceği ve bu konuda bilimsel çalışmalar yapılmasının kadın sağlığına faydalar sağlayabileceği öngörülmektedir. Anahtar sözcükler: Orman banyosu, orman terapisi, kadın sağlığı
... A large number of studies imply that contact with nature helps to alleviate mental stress and promote psychological wellbeing (e.g. Hartig, 2008;Park et al., 2011;Wang et al., 2018). ...
... This may be considered bad news for the working-aged population, who typically have a busy work schedule, and thus have less time available to relieve their mental stress by visiting green spaces during the daytime. This study and previous research studies have identified that some landscape characteristics can promote the restorative quality of daytime landscapes, such as more colours and natural vegetation (Park et al., 2011, Xu et al., 2018Zhao et al., 2018a). This study also indicates that only lighting features are crucial to improve the mental health of visitors during the evening (Table 7). ...
... Wind flow is usually perceived as a substantial precondition of thermal comfort [38,39]. A high wind velocity (WV) was reported to be perceived as a contrast to comfortable feelings for forest visitors in different seasons [19,33,40]. Overall, all abovementioned meteorological factors constitute the understory microclimatic condition, which is further associated with forest structure [41,42]. ...
... In subtropical and tropical forests, cold seasons are experienced by local people as a more suitable moisture relative to the spring of temperate regions [11,19]. The positive response to summer RH in our results also accorded with those found in [40], where RH was higher in settings that elicited positive perceptions for visitors in subtropical forests. Humidity was also reported to be perceived as an undesired factor evoking low thermal comfort in tropical forests both in summer and winter [37]. ...
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Degraded forests still retain a high dose of nature that may evoke positive sentiments of visitors. This function reminds policy makers to reevaluate the development of degraded forests by using their non-material services. Forest visitors have a general habit to take facial photos and share with internet friends. This results in the formation of a dataset that comprises scores of posted sentiments towards visitors’ experiences in degraded forests. People post facial photos with emotions exposed to a subjective extent which can be impacted by perceived experiences with jointly landscape and microclimate, but their combined effects have not been well demonstrated on a large geographical scale. In this study, a total of 30 degraded forests were selected from suburban areas of 22 cities in Southeast China. There were 2751 facial photos of forest visitors that were collected and screened from a database of social network platform of China, namely Sina Weibo. Happy and sad expressional scores were rated by the FireFACE software, and their spatiotemporal distributions were mapped. Both horizontal and vertical planes of objective forest landscapes were remotely evaluated by projected area and vegetation height, respectively. Microclimatic conditions were characterized by meteorological records on the same days when photos were posted. Exposed happiness was distributed as a geographical gradient from lower scores in the northeast region of study area to higher scores in the southwest. WV, TreeH, and elevation generated positive contributions to regressed happy score. However, combined low WV and high SunH benefitted the regression of higher sad scores. Our results revealed that people would like to pose more smiles in degraded forests with unhindered wind flows under tall and dense canopies located on highlands. Furthermore, policy makers could consider developing degraded forests as a type of infrastructure that can trigger the promotion of users’ mental well-being, instead of focusing only on negative consequences following ecological degradation.
... In the study by Hartig et al. (2003), walking in oak-sycamore woodland nature settings increased positive affect and reduced anger whereas urban walks in a city retail and office space had the opposite effect. The second one is the study by Park et al. (2011) showing that tension, anxiety, fatigue, and confusion were decreased by a nature walk, but not by an urban walk of equivalent duration. Unfortunately, an important limitation of these two studies is that exercise intensity was not measured. ...
... The finding that Positive Affect increased in the green but not in the urban walking group supports our research hypothesis and is in line with the findings from Hartig et al. (2003) or Park et al. (2011). However, several differences limit the comparability of results: (a) Hartig et al. (2003) asked half of their participants to perform various cognitive tasks before walking (attentional and memory tests); (b) exercise intensity was neither measured nor controlled in these two previous studies; (c) positive affect was measured using a relatively crude and nonspecific instrument in Hartig et al.'s (2003) study (the Zuckerman's Inventory of Personal Reactions; ZIPERS, Zuckerman, 1977); and (d) there was no sedentary control group in Hartig et al.'s (2003) study. ...
... In the study by Hartig et al. (2003), walking in oak-sycamore woodland nature settings increased positive affect and reduced anger whereas urban walks in a city retail and office space had the opposite effect. The second one is the study by Park et al. (2011) showing that tension, anxiety, fatigue, and confusion were decreased by a nature walk, but not by an urban walk of equivalent duration. Unfortunately, an important limitation of these two studies is that exercise intensity was not measured. ...
... The finding that Positive Affect increased in the green but not in the urban walking group supports our research hypothesis and is in line with the findings from Hartig et al. (2003) or Park et al. (2011). However, several differences limit the comparability of results: (a) Hartig et al. (2003) asked half of their participants to perform various cognitive tasks before walking (attentional and memory tests); (b) exercise intensity was neither measured nor controlled in these two previous studies; (c) positive affect was measured using a relatively crude and nonspecific instrument in Hartig et al.'s (2003) study (the Zuckerman's Inventory of Personal Reactions; ZIPERS, Zuckerman, 1977); and (d) there was no sedentary control group in Hartig et al.'s (2003) study. ...
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A growing body of research suggests that physical activity and exercise enhance a wide range of cognitive and affective wellbeing, including executive functions (Ludyga et al., 2020; Ishihara et al., 2021), memory (Wanner et al., 2020; Aghjayan et al., 2022), creative thinking (Aga et al., 2021; Chen et al., 2021), stress resilience (Arida and Teixeira-Machado, 2021; Belcher et al., 2021), and mental health (Chen et al., 2017; White et al., 2017). Exercise has also been recommended for the treatment of dementia (Cardona et al., 2021) and major depression (Cooney et al., 2013). However, it is still unclear what type, frequency and duration of physical activity and exercise bring the maximal benefits to a specific outcome in a specific population. Furthermore, how findings reported so far can be incorporated into people's everyday life and in educational and psychiatric contexts also remain unaddressed. Finally, the underlying psychological and neurobiological mechanisms of the benefits of physical activity and exercise are still largely unclear. This Research Topic comprises twelve papers that help address these unsolved issues and advance our understanding of the cognitive and affective benefits of physical activity and exercise. Specifically, four important topics emerged from these studies. Firstly, even a short bout of physical activity or exercise at relatively low intensity may have cognitive and affective benefits. A real-life study by Matsumoto et al. reported that compared to using the elevator, stair-climbing at one's usual pace for three floors roundtrip boosted divergent creative thinking, as assessed by the Alternate Use test. Ando et al. found that both 30 min of aerobic and resistance exercise at a light intensity (40% peak oxygen uptake) reduced participants' reaction time on a Go/No-Go task that measures executive function. However, changes in cognitive performance were not associated with several peripheral biomarkers, including adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol, lactate, etc., which calls for further in-depth investigation on other potential mechanisms underlying the cognitive benefits of physical exercise. Physical activity and exercise at low intensities may also improve mental health and have anti-depressant effects. Legrand et al. found that brisk walking for 30 min either in an urban or a green, natural environment reduced participants' negative affect. However, only walking in the green, natural environment increased participants' positive affect, which emphasized the superior benefits of “green exercise” (Chen, 2018; Li et al., 2022). Given that depressed patients often have reduced exercise motivation and physical fitness, Sakai et al. developed an exercise program consisting of 15–25 min of cycling twice a week at an intensity that approaches but never goes higher than subjects' ventilatory threshold (considered light to moderate in intensity). In a pilot study, the authors reported promising therapeutic effects of this program in depressed patients. Secondly, the effect of high intensity exercise on cognitive performance may depend on the characteristic of exercise and participants. A review by Sudo et al. found that cognitive performance during acute high intensity aerobic exercise is generally impaired while no impairment and even improvement is observed when cognitive tasks are administered over 6 min after high intensity exercise. They also found that cognitive impairment during high intensity exercise is more likely to occur to individuals with low physical fitness and during cycling than running. Age may be another moderating factor but more research is required to reach sound conclusions. The authors also discussed the underlying mechanism of such cognitive-exercise interaction, including regional cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygenation and metabolism, neurotransmitters, and neurotrophic factors. In contrast to during high intensity exercise, cognitive performance during moderate intensity exercise may be more likely to be enhanced. In a study by Zheng et al., participants stayed sedentary (seating) or exercised on a cycle ergometer at 50% maximal aerobic power for 15 min while simultaneously performed a n-back task and undergone functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). It was found that the reaction time for the n-back task was faster in the cycling than seating condition, which was accompanied by reduced concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin in several brain areas, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Ballester-Ferrer et al. investigated the effects of a 10-week high-intensity functional training program, in which all-out running, jumping rope, or muscle endurance exercise were performed for 10–30 min, 3 times per week. The authors found that while participants in the control group without such training showed no improvement on reaction time on tasks such as the Choice Reaction Test and Interference Test throughout the 10-week period, participants in the training group demonstrated shorter reaction time on these tasks. However, the effect of the training program on psychological wellbeing was absent. Thirdly, studies have been using mediation analysis to uncover the mechanisms of the benefits of physical activity and fitness. Potoczny et al. found that the effect of Karate training on satisfaction with life was fully mediated by self-control and reappraisal. Hernández-Jaña et al. found that cardiorespiratory fitness and speed-agility fitness but not muscular fitness mediated the association between BMI/central fatness and cognitive performance on eight tasks evaluating working memory, psychomotor speed, and fluid and logical reasoning, etc. Together with evidence that adiponectin, a hormone released by adipocytes, mediates the antidepressant-like and hippocampal neurogenesis enhancing effect of wheel running in mice (Yau et al., 2014), the latter study highlights the interaction between fitness and fatness in influencing cognitive and affective wellbeing. Fourthly, given that many individuals especially females (Clemente et al., 2016) are physically inactive, there are a number of ways for people to increase physical activity and use physical activity as a strategy to boost cognitive and affective wellbeing in everyday life. As suggested by Legrand et al., one may want to walk to work or walk for one bus stop while commuting and when walk, one may walk to choose greener routes. As suggested by Matsumoto et al., in the workplace, one may want to take the stairs rather than using the elevator whenever possible. Brown and Kwan suggested another strategy, replacing screen time with physical activity. Using isotemporal substitution analysis, the authors found that replacing screen time with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity or sleep is associated with enhanced mental wellbeing. Furthermore, Shen et al. suggests that rather than pure physical activity, activities that simultaneously require cognitive processing may bring greater benefits. The authors found that 8 weeks of Tai Chi Chuan, a mindfulness exercise that tries to integrate the body and mind, improved inhibitory control performance as indicated by reduced reaction time on a flanker task more than that by 8 weeks of brisk walking. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the authors found that the improved inhibitory control performance was correlated with spontaneous neural activity in the left medial superior frontal gyrus. Finally, Almarcha et al. suggests that compared to exercise programs prescribed by other people, co-designed exercise programs with inputs from the participants may bring greater benefits. The authors found that whereas a co-designed 9-week exercise program improved self-reported mental health in seven of eight scales used, a prescribed exercise program improved mental health only in three scales.
... Mild winds at a moderate velocity (∼5.36 m s −1 ) in green spaces can evoke a sense of better mood (Mao et al., 2022). Large-scale water bodies in blue spaces of wetlands can prevent thermal evaporation and replace it with cold gases (Nipoti and Binney, 2007). Temperatures in the range of 17.5-22.3 ...
... Therefore, people do not enjoy their time in urban wetlands in hot weather with humidity. In urban green spaces, however, studies demonstrated that RH at the understory layer can lower mental stress by reducing blood pressure and inducing positive emotions (Park et al., 2011;Wei . /fevo. . ...
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To evoke positive human emotions is a critical goal of blue spaces in urban wetland parks. However, information is still scarce on how people self-express across the spatiotemporal spectrum when they come across wetlands which include varying levels of elevation in a single landscape and microclimate. In this study, 30 urban wetland parks were selected from 17 cities in Central China, where a total of 1,184 portrait photos of visitors were obtained from a social media platform (Sina Weibo) to analyze their expressed sentiments by rating facial expression scores of happy and sad emotions and net positive emotion index (NPE; happy-score minus sad-score) in 2020. Landscape metrics were remotely evaluated for every wetland park, and microclimatic factors were obtained for the days when the photos were taken. Based on regressions of park-level data, blue-space areas could be perceived as a positive driver to trigger happiness in spring (regression coefficient [RC] of 0.20), but it triggered negative emotions in autumn (RC of −2.98). The higher elevation areas triggered positive emotions in summer and autumn (RC of 1.35 × 10 ⁻³ ), but extreme daily temperature, air humidity, and wind velocity together triggered sadness (RC of 0.11, 0.03, and 0.51, respectively). Mapped distribution of the area and corresponding emotions showed that visiting blue space evoked more smiles in wetland parks of northern Hunan, southern Hubei, and eastern Anhui in spring. Blue spaces in Shanxi and northwestern Hebei evoked better moods in autumn. Smaller blue spaces in wetlands located at higher elevations were recommended for nature enthusiasts in warm seasons to overcome the prevalent sadness characteristic of that time of the year and location.
... A major interest of scholars is the effect of natural environment on people from a single perspective of human psychology or physiology (Berto, 2005;Korpela et al., 2010;Liisa et al., 2014;Park et al., 2011;Takayama et al., 2014). Based on the relevant theories of environmental psychology, the effect of natural environment on people is all-round, not only reflected in one aspect of psychology or physiology, so it should be studied from the overall perspective of psychology and physiology. ...
... For the research on the influence of natural forest environment on people, most scholars often focus on the influence of natural forest environment on people's psychology and physiology (Kathleen, 2017;Mayer et al., 2009;Park et al., 2011;Ryan et al., 2010), and the research results only prove that natural forest environment is beneficial to people. In addition, some scholars compared the restorative effects of urban environment and natural forest environment on people (Hiroko et al., 2015;Mcmahan & Estes, 2015;Song et al., 2015a). ...
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Recall of natural environments evokes human psychophysiological response, there is a lack of systematic, comprehensive analysis in existing research. Moreover, the limited experimental conditions lead to various laboratory research, and more field studies are needed. Employing the field research design and relative environmental psychology methods, this research investigates physical and psychological indexes changes of 60 Chinese university students aged 19–25, which include positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), heart rate (HR), heart-rate variability (HRV), concentration (Pa), and relaxation (Pm), and regards the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China as the experimental site. This study evaluates the psychophysiological effects of the natural forest environment on participates and explores the overall psychophysiological changes, and verifies the positive effect of the natural forest environment on university students. The main findings indicated that the natural forest environment was beneficial for increasing positive affect, decreasing negative affect, affecting HR, and increasing HRV, Pa and Pm. This study adds some basic evidence to a growing theoretical literature emphasizing the role of natural forest environment in psychophysiological restoration.
... First, there are no objective measurements of physical environmental factors, including the quantification of ambient sound. Physical environmental factors may induce positive effects in green spaces [87]. Second, it is worth noting that the current results cannot be generalized to different age groups of the population or even in terms of gender differences. ...
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Creating attractive urban green spaces in severely cold and harsh climates is significant for promoting peoples’ health and perceived restoration. However, there is little evidence regarding the urban green spaces in wintery and cold climates and its restorative benefits. This study utilized a pixel grid approach to quantify winter landscape characteristics and a self-reporting method to assess the restorative benefits of audiovisual interactions. The results show the following: (1) Different types of roads in urban parks have significant differences in their level of restorativeness, and the restorativeness benefits of the primary path in winter parks are the strongest. (2) The presence of snowy elements in winter landscapes can enhance park users’ potential to experience restorative characteristics in relation to “being away”. Moreover, there exists a noteworthy positive correlation between deciduous trees and their restoration benefits. (3) People’s perceptions of the tranquility of the soundscape and the duration of environmental exposure are critical mediators in the impact of the restorative path effect. (4) Compared with women, men have a higher restorative level in both the landscape and soundscape. This elucidates the restorative role of white space landscapes and soundscapes in public psychological perception when proposing appropriate forest-based healthcare strategies. It also provides theoretical guidance and optimization schemes for the overall planning, health planning, and design of white spaces shaped by cold urban green spaces.
... Only few studies have identified the importance of these physical environment factors in the emotional health of UGS visitors. For example, Park et al. (57) confirmed the correlation between thermal comfort and positive emotions in urban and forest environments. Zhang et al. (58) confirmed that thermal sensation, restorative perception and landscape features could significantly affect individuals' emotions in summer. ...
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Objective To date, a comprehensive analysis of urban green space (UGS) visitors’ emotional remains largely unexplored. In this study, we focus on how UGS environmental preferences, restorativeness, other physical factors (sound, air, and thermal environments), and individual characteristics affecting visitor emotions. Such a comprehensive analysis would allow relevant practitioners to check the environmental quality of UGSs and improve certain conditions to promote visitor emotions. Methods A total of 904 questionnaire responses with concurrently monitored physical factors were analyzed by independent sample t -tests, one-way ANOVA and path analysis. Results The thermal evaluation had the largest impact on positive emotions (β = 0.474), followed by perceived restorativeness (β = 0.297), which had β values of −0.120 and −0.158, respectively, on negative emotions. Air evaluation was more effective for increasing positive emotions (β = 0.293) than reducing negative emotions (β = −0.115). Sound evaluation also had similar results (β = 0.330 vs. β = −0.080). Environmental preference significantly influenced only positive emotions (β = 0.181) but could still indirectly impact negative emotions. Moreover, objective physical factors can indirectly affect visitors’ emotions by enhancing their evaluations.. Conclusion The influence of different UGS environmental factors on visitors’ emotions vary, as does their impacts on positive versus negative emotions. Positive emotions were generally more affected than negative emotions by UGS. Visitor emotions were mainly influenced by physical and psychological factors. Corresponding suggestions are proposed for UGS design and management in this study.
... For instance, Sandifer et al. (2015) examined a comprehensive list of studies that explore the benefits related to CTN. Improved mood (Lee et al., 2014;Shin et al., 2011), reduced anxiety (Park et al., 2011;Song et al., 2014), and lowered blood pressure (Tsunetsugu et al., 2013) are a few of the numerous cognitive, psychological, and physiological benefits associated with the development of CTN (Sandifer et al., 2015). These benefits extend beyond the individual, however, as a number of scholars have noted CTN's potential to combat climate change through pro-environmental behaviors (Lumber et al., 2017). ...
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Climate change is a growing threat to human life. As future generations of youth are the most at risk for adverse effects of climate change, encouraging the development of pro-environmental behaviors in young people is of growing importance. Adolescents are in an ideal age range to develop connection to nature (CTN). During these years, experiences in the outdoors are more likely to impact how youth will value nature, and thus the future development of pro-environmental behaviors. In order to effectively encourage the adoption and development of pro-environmental behaviors, an emotional affinity for the environment should be established during childhood. Utilizing nature documentaries to develop connections to nature in adolescents could be a valuable means of combatting climate change for future generations. This study explored how watching a nature documentary can impact adolescents’ CTN. The episode had notable short-term impacts on CTN in adolescents, though long-term effects warrant future study.
... Cimprich and Ronis (2003) found that one of the difficulties associated with a cancer diagnosis is the inability to focus and have clarity, suggesting that regular exposure to natural environments throughout cancer treatment can greatly enhance health outcomes. Because forests and green spaces allow people to attend to all their senses, it signals opportunities for people to enhance their focus as well as improve their self-determination and understanding of their station in life (Park et al., 2011) along with the goals they have for becoming healthy again. ...
... Já a associação entre o verde residencial e sintomas de depressão não foi encontrada no presente estudo. Contudo, outros estudos demonstram que a exposição a áreas verdes está associada a medidas mais baixas dos sintomas de ansiedade, raiva, confusão, fadiga e depressão (Morita et al., 2007, Park et al., 2011, em especial para mulheres, ao caminhar na floresta (Shin et al., 2013). ...
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Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem and approaches that consider Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) can bring new perspectives of solution. About 80% of the amount of vitamin D that the body needs is produced endogenously through exposure of the skin to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from sunlight. The average UVB exposure in urban areas will depend in part on the local climate and the amount of cover and types of trees. The study analyzed the association between green areas and vitamin D levels. A sample of 101 women aged 35 years and over, living in the city of Araraquara, Brazil, was analyzed. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated as an indicator of exposure to green areas, being defined as the surrounding residential vegetation. A logistic regression model was used to analyze the association between residential vegetation index and vitamin D status. A statistically significant positive association was observed between exposure to below-median residential surrounding vegetation index and prevalence of insufficient levels of 25(HO)D (P=0,03). The study shows that lower levels of residential green are associated with a higher prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency. NbS approaches contribute to a better understanding of suitable environments for achieving good levels of vitamin D, avoiding the need for pharmaceutical supplementation of the nutrient.
... Moreover, emotional states such as tension and anxiety, depression and dejection, anger and hostility, energy, confusion, and fatigue can be improved through forest activities, thereby creating a sense of psychological relaxation [18]. ...
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In this study, we attempted to analyze the effect of color and temperature changes in the forest environment over time on the mood and physiological state of university students. The survey was conducted four times considering forest changes such as new leaf appearance and growth, autumn leaf changes, and fallen leaves. The participants’ moods and physiological states were first evaluated in an indoor environment; a second evaluation was conducted after contact with the forest. The color visual information of the forest environment was analyzed through color extraction from photographs taken each survey day. The participants’ moods and physiological states were measured using the Korean Profile of Mood States-Brief and a heart rate variability measuring device, respectively. Changes in the forest experience according to the season had an effect on university students’ mood states. In particular, the effects of the spring forest experience included the relaxation of tension and the activation of vigor. This result is considered to be influenced by factors such as the season’s temperature and the green color, which is predominant in the spring forest. However, no physiological changes were found in the participants according to each season. The results of this study can lead to greater consideration of the role of color in urban forest planning for universities and other public spaces.
... In many natural settings, they are associated with the finest living style where human's innate tendency to seek connection with natures are fulfilled. In line with this, nature-related settings have been associated with finest living, sense of belongingness and positive affect (Carrus et al., 2013;Park et al., 2011). Another study reported positive relationship between naturalness and place attachment to be a result of residents developed a strong place identity when they visiting places with high naturalness (Knez & Eliasson, 2017). ...
Article
Sustainable development has been one of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced in recent decades. The term sustainable development is a dynamic process which brings together global and local concerns while linking social, economic, and environmental issues in order to resolve the needs of both current and future generations. It is therefore important to achieve sustainable development as urban residents' wellbeing, meaning their health, sense of security, freedom and social relations with others are heavily dependent upon it. In the modern era, sustainable development has become even more challenging because the nature of urban development which is often intertwined with urban issues such as urban sprawl, immigration, city planning. Similarly in Malaysia, the rapid urbanisation, transformation and expansion of urban cities has pushed the country towards the need for urban sustainability. Nonetheless, the destruction of natural green spaces, noise and overcrowding is one of the negative implications in compact cities that threatens urban residents’ wellbeing. This is worrisome because the urban green spaces are essential in promoting social interaction, health and wellbeing. Therefore, urban green spaces are among the most important sustainable urban development elements to integrate in residential development initiatives to achieve residents’ wellbeing. This paper provides insight into the function of spatial values of these urban green spaces in explaining residents' wellbeing. In this paper, there are three dimensions namely urban green spatial characteristics, urban green spatial value, and residents' wellbeing. This paper posits that favourable urban green spatial characteristics improves the perceptions of urban green spatial values, and consequently promotes residents' sense of wellbeing
... Polat and Akay [39] found that a pleasant landscape contributes to a more positive psychological experience. Park et al. [40] identified a connection between positive feelings and thermal comfort, emphasizing that forest environments promote psychological recovery and enhance outdoor thermal comfort. ...
... It is inferred that the observed physiological effects were mainly responsible for the negative effects on cognitive performance in the same sample [65]. It is also demonstrated that the increases in temperature have a negative effect on the emotional quality of an individual's visit [66]. This last result was partially confirmed in our study. ...
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This study examines how objective, social, and perceived environmental conditions in a blue space are associated with the perception of psychological restorativeness. We collected data between April 2021 and February 2022 at Poetto Beach in Sardinia, Italy. The participants (N = 255) completed a survey about perceived environmental quality, stress, weather, and restorativeness during their stay at the beach. We used linear models to evaluate the association between psychological restorativeness and social, environmental, and weather parameters. We also analyzed the nature of the association between temperature and restorativeness by viewing this relation as both linear and non-linear and by evaluating the differences in restorativeness between winter, springtime, and summer. The results suggested that the participants viewed the beach as psychologically restorative, especially during the winter season. We also found that the number of people that participants came with was negatively associated with perceived restorativeness. Finally, the results from the correlation analysis revealed that people are less stressed if they go to the beach more frequently.
... However, the power of our data-pool was a reasonable level for a quality study. This is because approximately 20 people were frequently employed in studies testing the effect of experiencing nature on individuals' mental and psychological perceptions [25,58,[79][80][81]. All our data were collected from cities at a provincial scale, which is comparable with the power of the data in studies where the total number of photos is clearly larger than ours [31,32]. ...
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Cultural ecosystem services (CES) of urban wetland parks (UWPs) can be priced according to monetary values. Urban green and blue spaces (UGS and UBS, respectively) provide stands of nature in UWPs, wherein visitors’ emotions related to the enjoyment of CES values can be assessed through analyzing the facial expressions of visitors. In this study, a total of 98 UWPs were selected as study stands in Jiangxi, where a total of 1749 photographs showing facial expressions were obtained from Sina Weibo for local visitors experiencing UGS and UBS in 2021. The CES of UBS were evaluated at a widely used price of USD 881 ha−1 yr−1, and those of UGS were evaluated at USD 1583 ha−1 yr−1. The averaged CES values were estimated to be USD 941.26 and 39.54 thousand yr−1 for UGS and UBS per UWP in Jiangxi, respectively. The large number of UGS in an UWP had no relationship with the examined facial expressions; however, areas of UBS and, accordingly, the CES values therein, can both be perceived and exposed as positive emotions. CES in UBS only accounted for lower than 5% of that in a UWP, whereas those in UGS together explained over 95%. Overall, people smiled more when perceiving the values of services in UBS of UWPs than when experiencing UGS.
... Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE) device, as an emerging technology, provides a Virtual Reality (VR) experience that is compatible with the advantages of real (immersion and presence) and laboratory experiments (environmental variable controlled) to simulate the interaction between visitors and the forest environments (38)(39)(40). Recently, a lot of studies have verified the effectiveness of IVE in simulating real nature (3,41), including the effect of a virtual forest environment on emotion regulation (42), stress recovery (43), and psychological restorative (44,45). ...
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Previous studies have confirmed the significant effects of single forest stand attributes, such as forest type (FT), understory vegetation cover (UVC), and understory vegetation height (UVH) on visitors' visual perception. However, rarely study has yet clearly determined the relationship between vegetation permeability and visual perception, while the former is formed by the interaction of multiple forest stand attributes (i.e., FT, UVC, UVH). Based on a mixed factor matrix of FT (i.e., coniferous forests and broadleaf), UVC level (i.e., 10, 60, and 100%), and UVH level (0.1, 1, and 3 m), the study creates 18 immersive virtual forest videos with different stand attributes. Virtual reality eye-tracking technology and questionnaires are used to collect visual perception data from viewing virtual forest videos. The study finds that vegetation permeability which is formed by the interaction effect of canopy density (i.e., FT) and understory density (i.e., UVC, UVH), significantly affects participant's visual perception: in terms of visual physiology characteristics, pupil size is significantly negatively correlated with vegetation permeability when participants are viewing virtual reality forest; in terms of visual psychological characteristics, the understory density formed by the interaction of UVC and UVH has a significant impact on visual attractiveness and perceived safety and the impact in which understory density is significantly negatively correlated with perceived safety. Apart from these, the study finds a significant negative correlation between average pupil diameter and perceived safety when participants are viewing virtual reality forests. The findings may be beneficial for the maintenance and management of forest parks, as well as provide insights into similar studies to explore urban public green spaces.
... Recreation climatology is a growing area of research that deals with understanding climatic and microclimatic factors relating to human thermal comfort and site suitability for recreation and tourism [79,169,170]. In our previous review of the forest therapy literature [22], the few studies examining microclimatic factors generally found that measures such as high air temperatures and relative humidity can negatively impact physiological and psychological health outcomes [171][172][173]. Notably, Lin et al. [80] developed a thermal comfort model to identify the optimal structural conditions and times of day for forest walks. ...
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Forest therapy is an emerging holistic health practice that uses multisensory immersive engagements in forest settings to achieve health and wellbeing outcomes. Many forest therapy engagements take place via slow walks along a trail to optimally experience the array of sensory phenomena afforded along the route, yet surprisingly few forest therapy studies to date have investigated the characteristics of forest sites and trails that give rise to healthful experiences. In this research, we employ a hybrid approach to understand the conditions and features that contribute to a good forest therapy trail, using interviews with forest therapy guides to identify and highlight concepts for further refinement and structuring via a broad, integrative review of the relevant research and planning literature. Through this iterative approach, we identify and describe three site-related criteria (landscape character and quality, tranquility, and accessibility) and two trail-related criteria (design and construction and key features and qualities), each with a number of sub-criteria detailing specific conditions and considerations. This effort helps build a conceptual foundation and evidence base for assessment procedures that can be used to identify existing trails and design new ones that meet the needs of forest planners, managers, guides, and participants for the growing international practice of forest therapy.
... In forest tourism activities, the design of leisure activities is particularly important (Ohe et al., 2017). Psychological guidance forest leisure tourism products can effectively improve the happiness index and psychological state of tourists (Park et al., 2011). ...
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The benefits of wellness tourism have been recently noted by researchers and industry representatives. This study examined the health dimensions of these benefits posited by a large array of interdisciplinary studies from 2002 up to the present. Open coding was used to conduct an inductive evaluation to classify these health benefits. Results showed four main dimensions, namely, physical fitness, psychological fitness, quality of life (QOL), and environmental health; however, these dimensions need further investigation. Physiological health benefits can also be demonstrated through future experiments, which can further focus on empirical research on the psychological benefits and its overall effect on the QOL. This study contributes to the current literature by providing novel theoretical foundations and subsequently aids practitioners to understand customers better and convey their marketing messages to tourists more effectively.
... The antihypertensive effect of the C. camphora forest environment is attributed to its air quality and to the VOCs released by C. camphora. Park et al. [33] found that the psychological responses to physical environments are significantly related to air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat, and wind velocity. In this study, a similar trend was identified between air quality and the atmospheric environment and the effect of forest bathing, which may, thus, be attributed to air quality and changes in the atmospheric environment. ...
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Forest bathing is receiving increased attention due to its health benefits for humans. However, knowledge is scarce about the adjunctive therapeutic effects of forest bathing in different seasons on geriatric hypertension. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the antihypertensive effects of forest bathing in a Cinnamomum camphora (C. camphora) forest environment in four seasons. One group of participants with geriatric hypertension was sent to a C. camphora forest to experience a 3 day trip, while, as a control, another group was sent to the urban center. The participants’ blood pressure, blood routine, and blood biochemistry were assessed. The profile of the mood states (POMS) of the participants was assessed before and after the experiment. The air quality, atmospheric environment, and content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the two experimental sites were monitored during the experiment. This experiment was repeated across four seasons. The advantages of the urban forest groups over the control groups were mainly represented by reductions in diastolic blood pressure (DBP), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and heart rate (HR), as well as increased oxygen saturation (SpO2). The antihypertensive effects of forest bathing in the C. camphora forest environment changed with the seasons. Compared with the baseline level, SBP and DBP declined after forest bathing across the whole year, except during winter, whereas SpO2 increased. The effect of forest bathing on lowering blood pressure was particularly pronounced during summer and autumn. The antihypertensive effects of forest bathing in the four seasons were highly consistent with the seasonal dynamics of VOCs and negative air ions (NAIs), which implies that the effect of forest bathing may be attributed to alterations of the atmospheric environment. The antihypertensive effects of C. camphora forest were confirmed in our study, and the results can provide a reference for scheduling bathing trips.
... The lower-density coniferous forests produced relaxation in the mind, while the broadleaf forest at 50% density caused brain activity and a stable pulse [25]. The greater thermal comfort associated with temperate forests in summer was also shown to promote mental health [26]. In addition, natural forest sounds were shown to activate parasympathetic nervous system activity, decrease oxy-Hb concentrations of prefrontal cortex, and reduce heart rate [27][28][29]. ...
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Forest landscape spaces have positive effects on human physical and mental health. Meanwhile, gender is an important biological factor in differences in human physical and mental responses when facing stress. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss the gender characteristics and differences of people’s experiences of restoration in forest landscapes. Meanwhile, it is urgent to attend to the issue of young adults’ physical and mental health. This study aimed to clarify the impact of forest landscape exposure on physical and mental restoration and preferences in young adults of different genders and to explore the relationship between them. Six representative forest landscape spaces found in field research in Liaoning were presented to participants through virtual reality (VR) video. Physiological indicators (blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse), mood indicators (simplified profile of mood states), and preference scores of young adults (n = 319) before and after viewing the forest landscape videos were collected. Analysis of differences and Spearman’s rho correlation analysis were used to statistically analyse the data. Our results indicated that overlook landscape space, static water landscape space, and coniferous forest landscape space had differential restorative effects on participants’ physical and mental health. Male and female participants had different preferences regarding the forest landscape spaces. Meanwhile, there were strong correlations between participants’ preferences and restorative effects. Our findings provide preliminary practical basis for forest landscape planning that corresponds to the health needs of tourists of different genders to achieve optimization of health benefits of urban forest resources.
... The Semantic Differential Method [42] is a method previously used in the evaluation of forest landscape appreciation [43,44]. In this method, a list of opposite adjectives, which can describe the quality of environment (impressions which people have in different environments), is evaluated by participants using a Likert scale range from 1 to 7. In this study, by consideration of cultural differences and the applicability for viewing a forest environment and an open dump, a list of 20 pairs of adjectives or adjective-verb pairs were selected. ...
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Rubbish in a forest environment is a great threat to this ecosystem, but this threat may also apply to the lost benefits for visitors to the forest. Previous studies proved that forest areas have a positive effect on obtaining psychological relaxation in the people visiting them. However, it was not known whether this restorative experience could be disturbed in any way by the presence of an open dump in the forest. To check how the presence of a landfill affects the visitors, an experiment was planned in which the respondents observed a forest area with a landfill and a forest landscape without a landfill for 15 minutes (control). The respondents then assessed the landscape using the semantic differential method and the Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS). An analysis of these observations showed that the presence of a landfill in the forest significantly changed the appreciation of the landscape by the respondents, the values of positive experiences decreased, and the negative experiences increased. Restorativeness was also reduced. Based on the results, it can be concluded that the presence of garbage in the forest may interrupt the restorative experience of its visitors.
... There is a significant positive relationship between exposure to natural environments and physical and mental health. Studies have reported that exposure to natural environments has been found to improved mood states and cognitive function (Groenewegen et al., 2006;Park et al., 2011;Shin et al., 2010). Time spent in a forest can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressures and pulse rate, suppress sympathetic nervous activity (which increases in stressful situations), increase parasympathetic nervous activity (which enhances during relaxation), decrease salivary cortisol levels (a typical stress hormone), and decrease cerebral blood flow in the prefrontal cortex (Park et al., 2008). ...
Article
Sufficient food production, stable food supply, and environmental protection in urban surroundings aremajor global concerns for future sustainable cities. This is due to exponential population growth, increasingurban dwellings, climate change, and limited natural resources. The solution to these problems lies inthe plantation of fruit and vegetable home gardens, the utilization of rooftops and small plots for small-scalevegetable production, which can provide families with sufficient production and for income generation.But there is a need, to integrate information technology tools, breeding crops suited for urban farming, andclosing the on water, waste, and energy, to help maintain consistent food supply as well as make agriculture more sustainable.This review discusses the significant features of contemporary urban horticulture, inaddition to illustrating traditional, technology and innovations essential for urban horticulture to meet allfood and nutritional requirements of growing urban populations.
... Low carbon is the main path for the global response to climate. On the one hand, the movement mode of MBPs can alleviate long-term COVID-19 symptoms, and on the other hand, carbon reduction should go global to address climate change (85). Major economies should form a consensus and jointly introduce more and better policies and movement standards to encourage forest service industries worldwide, promote human health and circular economy development. ...
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Background Forest therapy has gained popularity in Japan and even other nations/regions due to its health benefits. In addition, forest therapy has contributed to the development of circular economy and industrial upgrading. Japanese successful practice can serve as a model for other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. To this end, the aim of this study was to determine whether forest therapy can improve the whole well-being of the participants and has a positive effect on the development of circular economy in the region.Methods Both empirical and inductive research methods were used; empirical approach was conducted to perform comparative analysis of regional data that was retrieved from the research project of Japanese Forestry Agency in 2015. Specifically, the efficacy of forest therapy on physical (blood glucose, blood pressure, body weight) and mental (sleep quality e.g.,) health outcomes among 815 participants was investigated. Regional data are from the statistics of Iiyama City from 1990 to 2005. After the concept of forest therapy became popular in the late 1990s, this element had a great positive impact on the economic benefits of Ishiyama City and other major forest scenic areas. We summarize and analyze a series of policies made by relevant departments of the Japanese government in the years from 2019 to 2021 to promote forest therapy and related circular industry development.ResultsSignificant (pre-to-post participation) changes in physical measure was observed. Firstly, mean weight of those overweight participants decreased across three different time points (pre-test/enrollment = 79.7 kg, 3-month participation = 77.2, and 6-month participation = 76.8 kg), while overall mean weight of the participants decreased to 61, 60.5, and 60.4 kg, respectively. Secondly, Participant with normal weight showed a decrease on mean HbA1C (from 6.09 to 6.06) at Week 24, while overweight participants demonstrated a slight change 6.03–6.01 after 6 months the average HOMA-IR for overweight participants decreased from 3.5 to 2.5 at Week 24, while participants with normal weight demonstrated a decrease from 2.2 to 1.7 at Week 24. Forest Therapy has emerged in Japan since Mid-1990s and has attracted a large number of tourists all over the world due to its unique health benefits.Conclusion Forest therapy in Japan has positive effects on whole well-being of Japanese residents and it has helped public mental health promotion and economic growth. Under the guidance and support of government policies, it can promote the development of circular economy and industrial transformation and set a model of Japanese forest therapy development for other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
... Low carbon is the main path for the global response to climate. On the one hand, the movement mode of MBPs can alleviate long-term COVID-19 symptoms, and on the other hand, carbon reduction should go global to address climate change (85). Major economies should form a consensus and jointly introduce more and better policies and movement standards to encourage forest service industries worldwide, promote human health and circular economy development. ...
... The most frequent comparison was made among different forest engagement activities, especially forest walking and forest viewing. Unfortunately, the majority of studies that examined both walking and viewing focused instead on reporting forest versus urban differences and did not report statistical comparisons between the two forest-based activities [135,208,209], but those that did showed mixed effects on outcomes. In studying the psychological outcomes of forest engagements, Kobayashi et al. [210] found that participants who walked for 15 min along a 1 km forest trail in one of five different forest areas in Japan reported feeling higher vigor and lower fatigue and confusion as assessed by POMS scores than when they sat and viewed the same landscape for an equivalent time. ...
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While most definitions of forest therapy emphasize the role of multisensory, immersive experiences in nature to achieve human health and wellbeing outcomes, reviews of research on forest therapy to date have predominantly focused on outcomes and provide limited insight on the factors and conditions that give rise to nature experiences. In this scoping review we employ a conceptual framework developed in the context of landscape perception research to examine empirical studies of forest therapy in terms of how the fuller process of human, forest, interaction, and outcome components are conceptualized and measured. Our literature search identified 266 studies focused on forest therapy and related activities, which were coded on a number of variables related to each of the four components in our framework. While most studies reported positive mental and/or physiological health outcomes using a wide array of measures, the typical study used small, homogeneous samples of participants who engaged in limited interactions with a forest environment that was minimally described. However, our analysis also identified a wider range of findings with regard to human-forest interactions, which together provide important insights for guiding forest therapy research and the provision of forest therapy trails, settings, and programs.
... Both of these concepts evolved from Ulrich's (1983) psychophysiological stress reduction framework (Kaplan, 2002;Korpela et al., 2001). Recent studies correlate that more UGS results in increased mental health and lower levels of stress (Vujcic et al., 2019;Dzhambov et al., 2018) A variety of UGS have been shown to provide psychological benefits, including both naturalistic UGS typologies as well as more anthropic ones (Grafius et al., 2018;Park et al., 2011;Taylor et al., 2002). Additional psychological benefits of UGS interaction include reduction in depression (Astell-Burt & Feng, 2019), reduction in ADHD in children (McCormick, Qeios, CC-BY 4.0 · Article, October 5, 2022 ...
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This paper reviews a study into the relationships between urban greenspaces and the benefits to psychological, social, and physical aspects of human wellbeing in a population using those environments. This relationship is theorized, analyzed, and measured through the transactional paradigm and is operationalized through the use of a public participation geographic information system (PPGIS), SoftGIS, which activates the greenspace - human wellbeing relationship through interaction and its map-based survey data collection. Over 1800 unique place-based relationships were analyzed. Results indicate what type of human wellbeing affordances were received from indicated greenspace within the Helsinki Urban Region. The implications are interdisciplinary and include community planning, urban geography, and human health as well as insight into the design and strategic management of greenspaces in urbanizing regions to provide continued and improved benefits to humans and nature.
... Evidence shows the potential benefits of exposing individuals to nature [15,16], especially in nature-deprived situations, such as long-term inmates in prisons and mental hospital patients, among others [17][18][19]. ese interventions have been shown to be beneficial in increasing positive affect and decreasing negative affect and stress (e.g., [20][21][22][23]. Specifically, Attention Restoration eory (ART; [24] has shown the potential effects of nature on stress and well-being. ...
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Psychological interventions have been shown to be beneficial in mitigating stress related to COVID-19 confinement. According to theories of restorative environments, exposure to natural surroundings has positive effects on well-being and stress through its restorative qualities. With 360° video-based Virtual Reality (VR), people can be exposed to nature and so better manage the consequences associated with mobility restrictions during confinement. The main aim of this pilot study was to examine whether a 360° video-based VR intervention composed of five 13-minute sessions (once a day) has positive effects on affect, well-being, and stress. The sample was made up of 10 participants (4 men and 6 women; age : M = 46.5, SD = 11.7) who were confined at home (voluntarily or not) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were instructed to watch a 360° video each day (of a “beach” or “lake” environment) using their smartphone and VR glasses sent to them by mail. Participants responded with several self-reports before and/or after each session (emotions and sense of presence) and before and/or after the intervention (affect, well-being, perceived stress, perceived restorativeness of nature, and the usefulness and acceptability of the intervention). Results showed a tendency to improve positive (e.g., happiness) and negative (e.g., anxiousness) emotions and experience a high sense of presence after each session. Moreover, perceived restorative qualities of the environment and their cognitive and behavioral effects were high. A significant decrease in negative affect was found after the intervention. Usefulness and acceptability were also high. This is the first study to show that an affordable and accessible technology can be used to overcome the negative consequences of confinement and counteract its harmful psychological effects.
... A variety of UGSs have been shown to provide psychological benefits, including both naturalistic UGS typologies as well as more anthropic ones (Taylor et al., 2002;Park et al., 2011;Grafius et al., 2018). Additional psychological benefits of UGS interaction include reduction in depression (Astell-Burt and Feng, 2019), reduction in ADHD in children (McCormick, 2017), increased peacefulness and tranquility (Marafa et al., 2018), and fewer reported stress-related illnesses (Reklaitiene et al., 2014). ...
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Introduction Nature exposure is a widely accepted option for promoting public health owing to the recent surge of scientific evidence. However, the actual settings to facilitate this initiative is yet to be extensively reviewed. In this systematic review, we have aimed to provide an up-to-date summary of interventional studies investigating the psycho-physiological effects of forests and urban forests, including details on their physical settings, and investigate an effect-modifying role of altitude and summarize data on the magnitude and shape of the association. Methods A keyword search using five electronic academic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Scopus) was conducted to identify relevant articles published in English from the inception year to the end of February 2022. The methodological quality was evaluated using the ROBINS-I or ROB2 tool, depending on the study design. Meta-regression and random effects model were jointly used to examine the relationship between altitude and health outcomes. Results We included 27 eligible studies and 31 cases extracted from 19 studies were used for the meta-analysis. In the meta-regression, we observed a non-linear association between altitude and psycho-physiological effects. Altitude had a positive quadratic association with anxiety ( p < 0.000, adjusted R ² = 96.79%), depression ( p < 0.000, adjusted R ² = 98.78%), and fatigue ( p < 0.000, adjusted R ² = 64.74%) alleviating effects. Conversely, altitude demonstrated a negative non-linear association with the blood pressure-lowering effect ( p = 0.009, adjusted R ² = 32.83%). Additionally, the thermal index (THI) and illuminance (lx) levels were significantly associated with effect sizes of psychological restoration. Discussion This review provides moderate-certainty evidence for an effect-modifying role of altitude. The meta-regression results suggested the optimal and minimal altitude ranges for psychological restoration and physiological relaxation, respectively. Despite some limitations, the study findings provide a significant basis for utilizing altitude, which is easily accessible and simple, to promote the health benefits of nature-based initiatives. Systematic review registration https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42022310894 , identifier: CRD42022310894.
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As animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) become increasingly popular in youth-based settings, there is a significant need for robust, theoretically-predicated programs and assessment frameworks. Ample evidence suggests that AAIs and nature-based interventions have broad emotional, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Because these interventions are associated with the regulation of stress, distress, and arousal, it is clear that self-regulatory processes are an important mechanism associated with these interventions. We hypothesize that human-animal-environment interventions (HAEI), such as those delivered within the Green Chimneys model, contribute to the development of self-regulation skills. Green Chimneys is a New York State private school serving students with psychosocial challenges and special educational needs. This study explored the hypothesis that Green Chimneys’ use of a wide variety of HAEIs (e.g., equine, farm animal, wildlife and canine programs) may be linked to self-regulatory processes. We used student restraint data as an indicator of self-regulation, comparing the prevalence of restraint incidents in the HAEI-settings compared to other contexts on campus. Results indicated that the rates of restraint were considerably lower for the farm as compared to the school/classroom, structured/non-academic activities (e.g., gym), and unstructured non-academic (e.g., cafeteria) activities. These results provide support for the hypothesis that the HAEI settings may assist in promoting positive self-regulatory behaviors.
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This systematic review aimed to identify mechanisms of psychological change following exposure to nature within an adolescent population. Keyword searches within Scopus, PsychINFO and Web of Science were carried out to include articles published by 14 September, 2021. Records were reviewed in line with inclusion criteria: samples with an average age of 24 and under, exposure to nature vs. control using an experimental or quasi-experimental design and outcomes of mental health and psychological status. The review resulted in 27 papers that were assessed for methodological quality and manually searched for mediation analyses. A range of psychological outcomes were identified and grouped into 10 categories: Mood and Affect, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Perceived Restoration, Stress, Energy, Cognitive Functioning, Resilience, Self-Concept and Pro-Social Behaviour. Only one formal mediation analysis was reported, highlighting a mediating role of belonging in increases in resilience. Limitations include the majority use of university student samples and over half of the papers being of low methodological quality. No firm conclusions on key mechanisms in an adolescent population were made due to insufficient evidence of mediating variables. The development of methodologically rigorous experimental studies with the inclusion of statistical pathway modelling is needed to test and specify plausible mechanisms.
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It is widely believed that coming into contact with forest environments is somehow beneficial to human well-being and comfort. In Japan, "Shinrin-yoku" (taking in the atmosphere of a forest) has been proposed to be a relaxation activity associated with forest recreation. The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological effects of forest recreation on the autonomic nervous activity. The subjects were twelve male university students (21.8 ± 0.8 years old). On the first day of the experiment, six subjects were sent to a forest area, and the other six to a city area. On the second day, each subject was sent to the area he did not visit on the first day as a cross check. The subjects walked (15 minutes) around their assigned areas before noon, and sat on chairs viewing (15 minutes) the landscapes of their assigned areas in the afternoon. Heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure, and pulse rate were measured as physiological indices. Measurements were taken at the place of accommodation in the morning, before and after walking, and before and after viewing at their assigned field areas. Pulse rate, diastolic blood pressure and LF/(LF+HF) (LF- low frequency, HF- high frequency) components of HRV were significantly lower in the forest area than in the city area. HF components of HRV tended to be higher in the forest than in the city. In conclusion, the results of the physiological measurements show that forest recreation enabled effective relaxation in people, both of the mind and body.
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Different conceptual perspectives converge to predict that if individuals are stressed, an encounter with most unthreatening natural environments will have a stress reducing or restorative influence, whereas many urban environments will hamper recuperation. Hypotheses regarding emotional, attentional and physiological aspects of stress reducing influences of nature are derived from a psycho-evolutionary theory. To investigate these hypotheses, 120 subjects first viewed a stressful movie, and then were exposed to color/sound videotapes of one of six different natural and urban settings. Data concerning stress recovery during the environmental presentations were obtained from self-ratings of affective states and a battery of physiological measures: heart period, muscle tension, skin conductance and pulse transit time, a non-invasive measure that correlates with systolic blood pressure. Findings from the physiological and verbal measures converged to indicate that recovery was faster and more complete when subjects were exposed to natural rather than urban environments. The pattern of physiological findings raised the possibility that responses to nature had a salient parasympathetic nervous system component; however, there was no evidence of pronounced parasympathetic involvement in responses to the urban settings. There were directional differences in cardiac responses to the natural vs urban settings, suggesting that attention/intake was higher during the natural exposures. However, both the stressor film and the nature settings elicited high levels of involuntary or automatic attention, which contradicts the notion that restorative influences of nature stem from involuntary attention or fascination. Findings were consistent with the predictions of the psycho-evolutionary theory that restorative influences of nature involve a shift towards a more positively-toned emotional state, positive changes in physiological activity levels, and that these changes are accompanied by sustained attention/intake. Content differences in terms of natural vs human-made properties appeared decisive in accounting for the differences in recuperation and perceptual intake.
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"Shinrin-yoku", which can be defined as "taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing", has been receiving increasing attention in Japan in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress. Since 2004, the authors of this paper have been involved in an investigation designed to ascertain the physiological effects of "Shinrin-yoku" within the framework of the "Therapeutic Effects of Forests" project. We have conducted physiological experiments, both in actual forests and in the laboratory, to elucidate the physiological effects on individuals of exposure to the total environment of forests or to only certain elements of this environment, such as the odor of wood, the sound of running stream water, and the scenery of the forest. We have obtained physiological measurements of central nervous activity, autonomic nervous activity, and biomarkers reflecting stress response that can be applied in this line of approach. Using these measurements, we have summarized the separate elements of forests in terms of the five senses. We have also reviewed a selection of field studies and introduced a number of results from ongoing projects as well as those from early studies. Future perspectives are also discussed.
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This review aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion about human health, global change, and biodiversity by concentrating on the relationships between forests and human health. This review gives a short overview of the most important health benefits that forests provide to humans, and the risks that forests may pose to human health. Furthermore, it discusses the future challenges for the research on the links between forests and human health, and for delivering health through forests in practice. Forests provide enormous possibilities to improve human health conditions. The results of a vast amount of research show that forest visits promote both physical and mental health by reducing stress. Forests represent rich natural pharmacies by virtue of being enormous sources of plant and microbial material with known or potential medicinal or nutritional value. Forest food offers a safety net for the most vulnerable population groups in developing countries, and healthy forest ecosystems may also help in regulation of infectious diseases. Utilizing forests effectively in health promotion could reduce public health care budgets and create new sources of income. Main challenges to delivering health through forests are due to ecosystem and biodiversity degradation, deforestation, and climate change. In addition, major implementation of research results into practice is still lacking. Inadequate implementation is partly caused by insufficient evidence base and partly due to the lack of policy-makers' and practitioners' awareness of the potential of forests for improving human health. This calls for strong cooperation among researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners as well as between different sectors, especially between health and environmental professionals.
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This paper reviews previous research on the physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing), and presents new results from field experiments conducted in 24 forests across Japan. The term Shinrin-yoku was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, and can be defined as making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest. In order to clarify the physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku, we conducted field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. In each experiment, 12 subjects (280 total; ages 21.7 +/- 1.5 year) walked in and viewed a forest or city area. On the first day, six subjects were sent to a forest area, and the others to a city area. On the second day, each group was sent to the other area as a cross-check. Salivary cortisol, blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability were used as indices. These indices were measured in the morning at the accommodation facility before breakfast and also both before and after the walking (for 16 +/- 5 min) and viewing (for 14 +/- 2 min). The R-R interval was also measured during the walking and viewing periods. The results show that forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments. These results will contribute to the development of a research field dedicated to forest medicine, which may be used as a strategy for preventive medicine.
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The study tested for the existence of a set of mood factors, replicated the factors, and determined their sensitivity to brief chemotherapy and psychotherapy. 5 moods were hypothesized, identified in 1 study, and replicated in 2 studies involving large groups of psychiatric outpatients. These moods were: Tension, Anger, Depression, Vigor, and Fatigue. 2 additional moods, Friendliness and Confusion, were identified but have not been confirmed. Evidence is presented for the factorial and concurrent validity of the mood factors and for their sensitivity to various treatment effects. A cross-study comparison is made of mood factors in the literature. The mood scales are thus shown to provide a useful method for assessing mood profiles in psychiatric outpatients. (19 ref.)
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Research and teaching in environmental health have centered on the hazardous effects of various environmental exposures, such as toxic chemicals, radiation, and biological and physical agents. However, some kinds of environmental exposures may have positive health effects. According to E.O. Wilson’s “biophilia” hypothesis, humans are innately attracted to other living organisms. Later authors have expanded this concept to suggest that humans have an innate bond with nature more generally. This implies that certain kinds of contact with the natural world may benefit health. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is presented from four aspects of the natural world: animals, plants, landscapes, and wilderness. Finally, the implications of this hypothesis for a broader agenda for environmental health, encompassing not only toxic outcomes but also salutary ones, are discussed. This agenda implies research on a range of potentially healthful environmental exposures, collaboration among professionals in a range of disciplines from public health to landscape architecture to city planning, and interventions based on research outcomes.
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Windows have been found to be a particularly salient feature of the workplace, not only as a matter of preference but also for health and well-being. Depending on what is in the view, looking out of the window may provide numerous opportunities for restoration. This study investigated the effect of window views on job satisfaction and stress. The impact of two specific influencing mechanisms was examined: existence of forest views through windows in workplaces, and absence of forest views through windows in workplaces. The sample consisted of 931 office workers in Seoul, South Korea, 481 who could see forest views from their workplaces and 450 who could not see forest views. A set of self-administered questionnaires including job satisfaction and job stress measures was distributed to the sample from April to September 2004. The results showed a significant direct effect of forest views from windows on job satisfaction and stress. Respondents' personal information such as gender, age and job category did not influence on the window view effects. As expected, employees' job satisfaction and job stress were highly and negatively correlated.
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Growing attention has been paid to the health-enhancing or therapeutic effects of natural environments, such as forests, and the requirement for an evidence-based approach has been pressing. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research in this field. In this study, the restorative effects of viewing real forest landscapes were examined through field experiments by comparing the effects of urban landscapes. Twelve Japanese male subjects in their twenties participated in a 3 day field experiment. The subjects were instructed to visit forest and urban environments randomly and to view each real landscape. Physiological and psychological data on each subject were collected four times a day. Significant differences between the responses of the subjects in forest compared with those in the urban environment were found. Forest environments had significantly lower values than urban environments after viewing in (1) salivary cortisol concentration (an index of stress response), (2) diastolic blood pressure, and (3) pulse rate. Further, subjects felt more comfortable, soothed and refreshed when viewing a forest landscape than an urban one. These findings support the idea that real forest landscapes may ameliorate stress, aid autonomic nervous system relaxation and increase positive emotion, and provide important scientific evidence of forest-guided health benefits.
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Addresses the recreational role of nature in everyday environments as reflected in outdoor recreation literature, noting the psychological value of nature in built environments and the sense of deprivation experienced in their absence. It is asserted that recreation research has progressed so that general classes of influence on outdoor decision making can be posited. A theoretical framework to account for individuals' attachment to natural elements in and around their daily environments is presented. (8 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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We compared psychophysiological stress recovery and directed attention restoration in natural and urban field settings using repeated measures of ambulatory blood pressure, emotion, and attention collected from 112 randomly assigned young adults. To vary restoration needs, we had half of the subjects begin the environmental treatment directly after driving to the field site. The other half completed attentionally demanding tasks just before the treatment. After the drive or the tasks, sitting in a room with tree views promoted more rapid decline in diastolic blood pressure than sitting in a viewless room. Subsequently walking in a nature reserve initially fostered blood pressure change that indicated greater stress reduction than afforded by walking in the urban surroundings. Performance on an attentional test improved slightly from the pretest to the midpoint of the walk in the nature reserve, while it declined in the urban setting. This opened a performance gap that persisted after the walk. Positive affect increased and anger decreased in the nature reserve by the end of the walk; the opposite pattern emerged in the urban environment. The task manipulation affected emotional self-reports. We discuss implications of the results for theories about restorative environments and environmental health promotion measures.
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The visible landscape is believed to affect human beings in many ways, including aesthetic appreciation and health and well-being. The aim of this paper is to analyse the range of landscapes used in environmental psychology studies, and the evidence of health effects related to viewing these landscapes. A literature review of publications linking landscapes and health effects was conducted. This reported evidence of health and well-being effects related to exposure to visual landscapes. The results of the review include an overview of the types of landscape used in the studies, the evidence on health effects, the methods and measures applied and the different groups of respondents. The analysis reveals a predominance of studies using only coarse categories of landscapes. Most landscape representations have been classed as “natural” or “urban”. Few studies were found to use subcategories within these groups. Generally, the natural landscapes gave a stronger positive health effect compared to urban landscapes. Urban landscapes were found to have a less positive and in some cases negative effect on health. Three main kinds of health effects have been identified in the study; short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, faster physical recovery from illness and long-term overall improvement on people's health and well-being.The study provides an overview of the relationships between health and landscapes arranged in an accessible format, identifying gaps in our knowledge requiring further research. The identification of quantifiable landscape attributes that affect health is seen as an important factor in enabling future landscape design to be of benefit to human health.
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We tested the hypothesis that exposure to nature stimuli restores depleted voluntary attention capacity and affects selective attention. Before viewing a video of either a natural or an urban environment, 28 subjects first completed a proofreading task to induce mental load and then performed Posner's attention-orienting task. After viewing the video they performed the attention-orienting task a second time. Cardiac inter-beat interval (IBI) was measured continuously to index autonomic arousal. Before the video both groups reacted faster to validly versus invalidly cued targets in the attention-orienting task. After the video, the urban group was still faster on validly versus invalidly cued trials, but in the nature group this difference disappeared. During the video the nature group had a longer mean IBI (lower heart rate) measured as the difference from baseline than the urban group. The results suggest that reduced autonomic arousal during the video engendered less spatially selective attention in the nature group compared to the urban group.
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Directed attention plays an important role in human information processing; its fatigue, in turn, has far-reaching consequences. Attention Restoration Theory provides an analysis of the kinds of experiences that lead to recovery from such fatigue. Natural environments turn out to be particularly rich in the characteristics necessary for restorative experiences. An integrative framework is proposed that places both directed attention and stress in the larger context of human-environment relationships.
The POMS (Profile of Mood States) was translated into Japanese, and reliability and validity of the Japanese edition was assessed on 354 healthy males aged 20 to 59 years (mean 42). The following findings were obtained. 1) Reliability coefficients (Cronbach's alpha) were 0.779-0.926 for six mood scales measured by the Japanese edition, i.e. "Depression-Dejection", "Vigor", "Anger-Hostility", "Fatigue", "Tension-Anxiety" and "Confusion." 2) Five factors were extracted by factor analysis for the 65 items of the POMS. "Vigor" and "Anger-Hostility" were solely explained by their respective factors, indicating that these two scales had the highest factorial validity. "Fatigue" had the second highest factorial validity; and "Tension-Anxiety" was third. "Confusion" and "Depression-Dejection" were related to the same one factor. 3) In 33 of the subjects, the scores for mood measured by the POMS were significantly correlated to ratings by a psychiatrist, indicating that the POMS had good criterion-related validity, except for "Anger-Hostility".
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Research and teaching in environmental health have centered on the hazardous effects of various environmental exposures, such as toxic chemicals, radiation, and biological and physical agents. However, some kinds of environmental exposures may have positive health effects. According to E.O. Wilson's "biophilia" hypothesis, humans are innately attracted to other living organisms. Later authors have expanded this concept to suggest that humans have an innate bond with nature more generally. This implies that certain kinds of contact with the natural world may benefit health. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is presented from four aspects of the natural world: animals, plants, landscapes, and wilderness. Finally, the implications of this hypothesis for a broader agenda for environmental health, encompassing not only toxic outcomes but also salutary ones, are discussed. This agenda implies research on a range of potentially healthful environmental exposures, collaboration among professionals in a range of disciplines from public health to landscape architecture to city planning, and interventions based on research outcomes.
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The first portion of this paper describes a behavioral conception of the sign-process as developed from a general mediation theory of learning. The remainder is concerned with the problem of measuring meaning The development of a semantic differential as a general method of measuring meaning is described. It involves (a) the use of factor analysis to determine the number and nature of factors entering into semantic description and judgment, and (b) the selection of a set of specific scales corresponding to these factors." 118-item bibliography.
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Shinrin-yoku (walking and/or staying in forests in order to promote health) is a major form of relaxation in Japan; however, its effects have yet to be completely clarified. The aims of this study were: (1) to evaluate the psychological effects of shinrin-yoku in a large number of participants; and (2) to identify the factors related to these effects. Four hundred and ninety-eight healthy volunteers took part in the study. Surveys were conducted twice in a forest on the same day (forest day) and twice on a control day. Outcome measures were evaluated using the Multiple Mood Scale-Short Form (hostility, depression, boredom, friendliness, wellbeing and liveliness) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory A-State Scale. Statistical analyses were conducted using analysis of variance and multiple regression analyses. Hostility (P<0.001) and depression (P<0.001) scores decreased significantly, and liveliness (P=0.001) scores increased significantly on the forest day compared with the control day. The main effect of environment was also observed with all outcomes except for hostility, and the forest environment was advantageous. Stress levels were shown to be related to the magnitude of the shinrin-yoku effect; the higher the stress level, the greater the effect. This study revealed that forest environments are advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress. Accordingly, shinrin-yoku may be employed as a stress reduction method, and forest environments can be viewed as therapeutic landscapes. Therefore, customary shinrin-yoku may help to decrease the risk of psychosocial stress-related diseases, and evaluation of the long-term effects of shinrin-yoku is warranted.
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The human Ether-a-go-go Related Gene (hERG) potassium channel is one of the major critical factors associated with QT interval prolongation and development of arrhythmia called Torsades de Pointes (TdP). It has become a growing concern of both regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical industries who invest substantial effort in the assessment of cardiac toxicity of drugs. The development of in silico tools to filter out potential hERG channel inhibitors in early stages of the drug discovery process is of considerable interest. Here, we describe binary classification models based on a large and diverse library of 495 compounds. The models combine pharmacophore-based GRIND descriptors with a support vector machine (SVM) classifier in order to discriminate between hERG blockers and nonblockers. Our models were applied at different thresholds from 1 to 40 microm and achieved an overall accuracy up to 94% with a Matthews coefficient correlation (MCC) of 0.86 ( F-measure of 0.90 for blockers and 0.95 for nonblockers). The model at a 40 microm threshold showed the best performance and was validated internally (MCC of 0.40 and F-measure of 0.57 for blockers and 0.81 for nonblockers, using a leave-one-out cross-validation). On an external set of 66 compounds, 72% of the set was correctly predicted ( F-measure of 0.86 and 0.34 for blockers and nonblockers, respectively). Finally, the model was also tested on a large set of hERG bioassay data recently made publicly available on PubChem ( http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/assay/assay.cgi?aid=376) to achieve about 73% accuracy ( F-measure of 0.30 and 0.83 for blockers and nonblockers, respectively). Even if there is still some limitation in the assessment of hERG blockers, the performance of our model shows an improvement between 10% and 20% in the prediction of blockers compared to other methods, which can be useful in the filtering of potential hERG channel inhibitors.
Article
We previously reported that a forest bathing trip enhanced human NK activity, number of NK cells, and intracellular anti-cancer proteins in lymphocytes. In the present study, we investigated how long the increased NK activity lasts and compared the effect of a forest bathing trip on NK activity with a trip to places in a city without forests. Twelve healthy male subjects, age 35-56 years, were selected with informed consent. The subjects experienced a three-day/two-night trip to forest fields and to a city, in which activity levels during both trips were matched. On day 1, subjects walked for two hours in the afternoon in a forest field; and on day 2, they walked for two hours in the morning and afternoon, respectively, in two different forest fields; and on day 3, the subjects finished the trip and returned to Tokyo after drawing blood samples and completing the questionnaire. Blood and urine were sampled on the second and third days during the trips, and on days 7 and 30 after the trip, and NK activity, numbers of NK and T cells, and granulysin, perforin, and granzymes A/B-expressing lymphocytes in the blood samples, and the concentration of adrenaline in urine were measured. Similar measurements were made before the trips on a normal working day as the control. Phytoncide concentrations in forest and city air were measured. The forest bathing trip significantly increased NK activity and the numbers of NK, perforin, granulysin, and granzyme A/B-expressing cells and significantly decreased the concentration of adrenaline in urine. The increased NK activity lasted for more than 7 days after the trip. In contrast, a city tourist visit did not increase NK activity, numbers of NK cells, nor the expression of selected intracellular anti-cancer proteins, and did not decrease the concentration of adrenaline in urine. Phytoncides, such as alpha-pinene and beta-pinene were detected in forest air, but almost not in city air. These findings indicate that a forest bathing trip increased NK activity, number of NK cells, and levels of intracellular anti-cancer proteins, and that this effect lasted at least 7 days after the trip. Phytoncides released from trees and decreased stress hormone may partially contribute to the increased NK activity.
Restorative environments Ergonomics of the thermal environment—Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria
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Hartig, T., & Staats, H. (2003). Restorative environments. Journal of Environmen-tal Psychology, 23(2), 103–107. doi:10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00108-1 [special issue] ISO. (2005). Ergonomics of the thermal environment—Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria. Switzerland: International Standard ISO7730:2005(E).
Selective attention and heart rate responses to natural and urban environments The restora-tive effects of viewing real forest landscapes: Based on a comparison with urban landscapes
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Laumann, K., Garling, T., & Stormark, K. M. (2003). Selective attention and heart rate responses to natural and urban environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23(2), 125–134. doi:10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00110-X Lee, J., Park, B. J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kagawa, T., & Miyazaki, Y. (2009). The restora-tive effects of viewing real forest landscapes: Based on a comparison with urban landscapes. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 24(3), 227–234.
but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins
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Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 21(1), 117–127.
POMS(Kannjyoupurofi-rukennsa)nihonngobannnosakuseitosinnraiseioyobidatouseinokenntou [Production of the Japanese edition of profile of mood states (POMS): Assess-ment of reliability and validity]
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Yokoyama, K, Araki, S., Kawakami, N., & Takeshita, T. (1990). POMS(Kannjyoupurofi-rukennsa)nihonngobannnosakuseitosinnraiseioyobidatouseinokenntou [Production of the Japanese edition of profile of mood states (POMS): Assess-ment of reliability and validity]. Japanese Journal of Public Health, 37(11), 913–918 (in Japanese).
Effect of wooden odoriferous substances on humans
  • Miyazaki
Effect of visual stimulation (I)–in the case of good correlation between sensory evaluation and physiological response
  • Suda
The restorative benefits of nature
  • Kaplan
POMS(Kannjyoupurofi-rukennsa)nihonngobannnosakuseitosinnraiseioyobidatouseinokenntou
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