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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 931;

Population-Based Study on the Effect of a Forest Environment on Salivary Cortisol Concentration

Department of Nursing, Ishikawa Prefectural Nursing University, 1-1 Gakuendai, Kahoku, Ishikawa 929-1210, Japan
Center for Environment, Health, and Field Sciences, Chiba University, 6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea
Department of Landscape Architecture, Hankyong National University, 327 Jungang-ro, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do 17579, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Nature Therapy: Advances in Physiological Evaluation)
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a forest environment on salivary cortisol concentration, particularly on the characteristics of its distribution. The participants were 348 young male subjects. The experimental sites were 34 forests and 34 urban areas across Japan. The subjects viewed the landscape (forest or urban environment) for a period of 15 min while sitting in a chair. Saliva was sampled from the participants at the end of this 15-min period and then analyzed for cortisol concentration. Differences in the skewness and kurtosis of the distributions between the two environments were tested by performing a permutation test. The cortisol concentrations exhibited larger skewness (0.76) and kurtosis (3.23) in a forest environment than in an urban environment (skewness = 0.49; kurtosis = 2.47), and these differences were statistically significant. The cortisol distribution exhibited a more peaked and longer right-tailed curve in a forest environment than in an urban environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest environment; salivary cortisol; distribution; population approach forest environment; salivary cortisol; distribution; population approach

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Kobayashi, H.; Song, C.; Ikei, H.; Park, B.-J.; Lee, J.; Kagawa, T.; Miyazaki, Y. Population-Based Study on the Effect of a Forest Environment on Salivary Cortisol Concentration. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 931.

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