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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7207-7230; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707207

Emotional, Restorative and Vitalizing Effects of Forest and Urban Environments at Four Sites in Japan

Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere, Kalevantie 4, Tampere FI-33104, Finland
Korea Forest Service, Government Complex 1, 189 Cheongsa-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon 302-701, Korea
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu Daejeon 305-764, Korea
Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8602, Japan
Finnish Forest Research Institute (METLA), PO Box 18 (Jokiniemenkuja 1), Vantaa FI-01301, Finland
Center for Environment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 22 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 15 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Nature)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [528 KB, uploaded 15 July 2014]   |  


The present study investigated the well-being effects of short-term forest walking and viewing (“forest bathing”). The hypothesis in our study was that both environment (forest vs. urban) and activity (walking and viewing) would influence psychological outcomes. An additional aim was to enhance basic research using several psychological methods. We conducted the experiments using 45 respondents in four areas of Japan from August to September, 2011. The hypothesis in our study was supported, because significant interaction terms between the environment and activity were confirmed regarding the Profile of Mood States (POMS) indexes, Restorative Outcome Scale (ROS) and Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS). No statistical differences between the two experimental groups in any of the ten scales were found before the experiment. However, feelings of vigor and positive effects, as well as feelings of subjective recovery and vitality were stronger in the forest environment than in the urban environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku); psychological outcome; restorativeness; vitalization; emotion forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku); psychological outcome; restorativeness; vitalization; emotion

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Takayama, N.; Korpela, K.; Lee, J.; Morikawa, T.; Tsunetsugu, Y.; Park, B.-J.; Li, Q.; Tyrväinen, L.; Miyazaki, Y.; Kagawa, T. Emotional, Restorative and Vitalizing Effects of Forest and Urban Environments at Four Sites in Japan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 7207-7230.

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