Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

Ratings: (0)|Views: 51|Likes:
Published by Kinjou Okumura-Ten
The Japanese practice of forest bathing.
The Japanese practice of forest bathing.

More info:

Published by: Kinjou Okumura-Ten on Jun 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/23/2012

pdf

text

original

 
SPECIAL FEATURE
The Trends on the Research of Forest Bathing in Japan,Korea and in the World
The physiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
(taking in the forestatmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experimentsin 24 forests across Japan
Bum Jin Park
Æ
Yuko Tsunetsugu
Æ
Tamami Kasetani
Æ
Takahide Kagawa
Æ
Yoshifumi Miyazaki
Received: 18 July 2008/Accepted: 6 April 2009/Published online: 2 May 2009
Ó
The Japanese Society for Hygiene 2009
Abstract
This paper reviews previous research on thephysiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
(taking in the forestatmosphere orforest bathing),andpresentsnewresultsfromfield experiments conducted in 24 forests across Japan. Theterm
Shinrin-yoku
was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, and can bedefined asmakingcontact with and taking inthe atmosphereof the forest. In order to clarify the physiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
, we conducted field experiments in 24 forestsacrossJapan.Ineachexperiment,12subjects(280total;ages21.7
±
1.5 year) walked in and viewed a forest or city area.Onthefirstday,sixsubjectsweresenttoaforestarea,andtheothers to a city area. On the second day, each group was sentto the other area as a cross-check. Salivary cortisol, bloodpressure, pulse rate, and heart rate variability were used asindices. These indices were measured in the morning at theaccommodation facility before breakfast and also bothbefore and after the walking (for 16
±
5 min) and viewing(for 14
±
2 min). The R–R interval was also measuredduring the walking and viewing periods. The results showthat forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greaterparasympatheticnerveactivity,andlowersympatheticnerveactivity than do city environments. These results will con-tribute to the development of a research field dedicated toforest medicine, which may be used as a strategy for pre-ventive medicine.
Keywords
Therapeutic effects of forest
Á
Heart ratevariability
Á
Salivary cortisol
Á
Blood pressure
Á
Pulse rate
Introduction
The growing interest in environmental stress has beenaccompanied by a rapid accumulation of evidence indi-cating that environment can elicit substantial stress inpeople living in urban environments [1]. Furthermore, it isbroadly conceived that the natural environment canenhance human health [2]. There have been several ques-tionnaire studies on the psychological effects of forestenvironments. A previous study found an enhancementof positive emotions among subjects who were shownpictures of natural environments [36]. Moreover, other studies have also found that forest environments improvethe psychological wellbeing of people [712]. The term
Shinrin-yoku
(taking in the forest atmosphereor forest bathing) was coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982. It can bedefined as making contact with and taking in the atmo-sphere of the forest: a process intended to improve anindividual’s state of mental and physical relaxation [13].
Shinrin-yoku
is considered to be the most widespreadactivity associated with forest and human health.Nowadays, there is considerable interest in stress controland relaxation. Further, the field of medical science hasalways favored evidence-based medicine (EBM); this
B. J. Park (
&
)
Á
Y. MiyazakiCenter for Environment, Health and Field Sciences,Chiba University, Kashiwa-no-ha 6-2-1,Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japane-mail: bjpark@faculty.chiba-u.jpY. Tsunetsugu
Á
T. KagawaForestry and Forest Products Research Institute,1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, JapanT. KasetaniChiba Prefectural Agriculture and ForestryResearch Center Forestry Research Institute,1887-1 Haniya, Sammu, Chiba 289-1223, Japan
 123
Environ Health Prev Med (2010) 15:18–26DOI 10.1007/s12199-009-0086-9
 
emphasizes the importance of scientific evidence in med-ical practice. With improved measurement techniques, therelaxation effect induced by forest settings can be clarifiedin a field test by measuring the changes induced in physi-ological parameters such as salivary cortisol, pulse rate,blood pressure, and heart rate variability (HRV).With this social background, the Association of Thera-peutic Effects of Forests was established in Japan in 2004,with the purpose of conducting a Therapeutic Effects of Forests project in Japan. At the European level, similarefforts were made through COST Action E39 on forest andhumanhealthfrom2004to2008[14],andonthegloballevel,the International Union of Forest Research Organizations(IUFRO) launched a new taskforce on forests and humanhealthinFinlandin2007withthepurposeoffosteringcross-disciplinary dialogue between the different researchers inthis field, especially forestry and health professionals.As part of this effort, the Japanese Society of ForestMedicine was established in 2007 under the JapaneseSociety for Hygiene, with the purpose of promotingresearch in the field of forest medicine, including theeffects of forest bathing trips and the therapeutic effects of forests on human health. At the same time, several fieldstudies on the physiological effects of the natural envi-ronment were carried out [13,1519]. In this paper, we review selected field studies performedon the physiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
and a studydealing with the relationship between its psychologicaleffects and physical environmental factors. In addition, wereport new results from field experiments conducted in 24forests across Japan.
Field methods
Subjects and study sitesWe conducted physiological experiments in 24 areas from2005 to 2006 in Japan. In each experiment, 12 normal maleuniversity students (280 in total; ages 21.7
±
1.5 years)participated as subjects; none reported a history of physicalor psychiatric disorders. The study was performed underthe regulations of the Institutional Ethical Committee of theForestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Japan.On the day before the experiments, subjects were fullyinformed of the aims and procedures of the experiment andtheir informed consent was obtained.Physiological measurementsSeven physiological parameters were analyzed in thepresent study (Table1). For the measurement of salivarycortisol concentration, saliva was collected by holding twopieces of absorbent cotton in the mouth for 2 min and usinga saliva collection tube (no. 51.1534, Sarstedt, Numbrecht,Germany). On collection, the tube was sealed with tape andimmediately stored, refrigerated, and frozen; it was lateranalyzed for cortisol concentration (SRL, Inc., Japan).Heart rate variability (HRV) was analyzed for the periodsbetween consecutive R waves in the electrocardiogram (R–R intervals) measured by a portable electrocardiograph(AC-301A, GMS Corporation). The power levels of thehigh-frequency (HF; 0.15–0.4 Hz) and low-frequencycomponents (LF; 0.04–0.15 Hz) were calculated [20] everyminute by the maximum-entropy method (Mem-Calc,GMS Ltd. [21]). The HF power is considered to reflectparasympathetic nervous activity [22]. Furthermore, thepower ratios HF/LF and LF/(LF
?
HF) were determined toreflect the sympathetic nervous activity [23]. Systolic bloodpressure, diastolic blood pressure, and pulse rate weremeasured by a digital blood pressure monitor using oscil-lometric methods (HEM1000, Omron, Japan) on the rightupper arm.Psychological measurementsThe Profile of Mood States (POMS) was used to gaugethe psychological response [24]. The POMS consists of 30 adjectives rated on a 0–4 scale that can be consolidatedinto the following six effective dimensions: T–A (tensionand anxiety), D (depression and dejection), A–H (angerand hostility), F (fatigue), C (confusion), and V (vigor).Because of its responsiveness, the POMS have been widelyused in the assessment of mood changes resulting from avariety of interventions. For the Japanese subjects, theJapanese edition of the POMS was used.Physical environmental factorsIn the physical experiment, the temperature and relativehumidity, radiant heat, wind speed, predicted mean vote(PMV), and predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) weremeasured using a portable amenity meter (AM-101, KyotoElectronics Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Japan) at each studysite. In addition, atmospheric pressure (Kestrel 4000,Nielsen-Kellerman, Japan) was also measured at somelocations. Relative illumination was calculated from photosof the sky captured by a digital camera (Coolpix 4500,Nikon, Japan) equipped with a fisheye lens (FC-E8, Nikon,Japan).Experimental designAfter being given an orientation to the experiment on theday before the first day of experimentation, the subjectsvisited and previewed the forest and city study sites. Next,
Environ Health Prev Med (2010) 15:1826 19
 123
 
test measurements of all the physiological indexes andsubjective feelings were conducted at the accommodationfacility. In order to control the background environmentalconditions, identical, separate rooms were prepared aslodgings for each subject and identical meals were servedduring the experiments.The subjects were randomly divided into two groups. Onthe first day of the experiments, six subjects were sent to aforest site, and the other six subjects to a city site. On thesecond day, the subjects were sent to the other type of site asa cross-check. The first measurement was taken in the earlymorning at the accommodations before breakfast. After thefirst measurement, subjects were sent to either a forest orcity site. It took almost the same amount of time to reachboth the forest and city sites from the accommodations. Asshown in Fig.1, upon arrival at the given site, the subjectswere seated on chairs and viewed the landscape (for14
±
2 min). They also walked around the given site (for16
±
5 min). The second and third measurements weretaken before and after this walking. The fourth and fifthmeasurements were taken before and after the viewing.These measurements were taken for one person at a time. Inaddition to these five measurements, the R–R interval wasmeasured continuously during the walking and viewingexercises at the given site. The HRV was calculated once aminute using the R–R interval data. The exercise loadsduring the walking exercise in the forest and city sites wereestimated with an activity monitor (AC-301A, GMS,Japan); there was no difference in exercise load betweenwalking in a forest site and walking in a city site.The consumption of alcohol and tobacco was prohibitedand caffeine consumption was controlled.
Review of field studies performed on the physiologicaleffects of 
Shinrin-yoku
in Japan
We searched the major journals on medical science,physiological anthropology, and environmental science forreports on field studies on the physiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
in Japan. Only articles presenting evidence of the relaxing effects related to
Shinrin-yoku
have beenreviewed in this paper. Table2presents a summary of thereviewed papers.An early study by Ohtsuka et al. [25] showed that bloodglucose levels in diabetic patients decrease when they walk in a forest for 3 or 6 km, depending on their individualphysical ability. By the middle of the decade in which theabove-mentioned study was performed, research on thephysiological effects of 
Shinrin-yoku
began in earnest,using improved technologies for measuring physiologicalindicators. These studies used a wide range of physiolog-ical indices such as salivary cortisol, pulse rate, bloodpressure, and HRV. Moreover, the experiments weredesigned with full consideration for cross-checks andcontrol stimuli. The studies showed that viewing forestlandscapes and walking in forest settings leads to lowerconcentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower bloodpressure, enhanced HF component of the HRV, and lowerLF/HF [or LF/(LF
?
HF)]. In particular, Park et al. [13]showed that forest environments can lower the absolutevalue of the total hemoglobin concentration (t-Hb), anindex of cerebral activity, in the left prefrontal area of thebrain. The absolute value of hemoglobin concentration hadnever previously been measured in the field.
Table 1
Measured physiological parameters and subjectiveevaluationAutonomic nervousactivityPulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolicblood pressureHeart rate variability (HRV)HF component (parasympathetic nervousactivity)LF/HF or LF/(LF
?
HF) (sympatheticnervous activity)Endocrine systemactivitySalivary cortisol concentrationImmune systemactivitySalivary immunoglobulin A concentration
Fig. 1
Forest viewing andwalking20 Environ Health Prev Med (2010) 15:1826
 123

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->