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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 728; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070728

The Effects of a Campus Forest-Walking Program on Undergraduate and Graduate Students’ Physical and Psychological Health

1
College of Nursing, The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
3
Department of Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
4
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Health Service Center, Seoul 08826, Korea
5
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul 03080, Korea
6
Department of Environment and Forest Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
7
College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Seoul 03080, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: William C. Sullivan and Chun-Yen Chang
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
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Abstract

We conducted a campus forest-walking program targeting university and graduate students during their lunchtime and examined the physical and psychological effects of the program. We utilized a quasi-experimental design with a control group and a pretest–posttest design. Forty-seven men (M = 25.5 ± 3.8 years) and 52 women (M = 23.3 ± 4.3 years) volunteered to participate (experimental group n = 51, control group n = 48). The intervention group participated in campus forest-walking program once a week for six weeks; they were also asked to walk once a week additionally on an individual basis. Additionally, participants received one lecture on stress management. Post-tests were conducted both just after the program ended and three months after. A chi-square test, t-test, and repeated measures analysis of variance were used to evaluate the effects of the program. Health promoting behaviors (F = 7.27, p = 0.001, ES = 0.27) and parasympathetic nerve activity (F = 3.69, p = 0.027, ES = 0.20) significantly increased and depression (F = 3.15, p = 0.045, ES = 0.18) significantly decreased in the experimental group after the intervention compared to the control group. In conclusion, using the campus walking program to target students during their lunchtime is an efficient strategy to promote their physical and psychological health. View Full-Text
Keywords: forests; walking; health promotion; body composition; depression; college students forests; walking; health promotion; body composition; depression; college students
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Bang, K.-S.; Lee, I.; Kim, S.; Lim, C.S.; Joh, H.-K.; Park, B.-J.; Song, M.K. The Effects of a Campus Forest-Walking Program on Undergraduate and Graduate Students’ Physical and Psychological Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 728.

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