Although the health benefits of urban parks have gained significant attention, the effects of viewing park landscape on older adult residents have not commanded much research. This study aimed to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of viewing cherry blossoms in spring and fresh greenery in early summer at urban parks. The experiments were conducted in two viewing spots in the same park in Japan during different seasons, and included 12 participants in both spring (mean age, 66.4 ± 10.5 years) and summer (mean age, 65.75 ± 10.1 years). Participants sat and viewed an urban park and city landscape for 11–15 min. Blood pressure was measured before and after the seated viewing while heart rate was measured continuously. Then, they evaluated the psychological responses using the Profile of Mood States and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Viewing cherry blossoms and fresh greenery in urban parks led to lower blood pressure in spring and early summer than viewing city areas in spring and early summer. Moreover, the score of vigor–activity was significantly higher; tension–anxiety was significantly lower in spring; and the state-anxiety level was significantly lower in early summer. The results of this study suggest that viewing urban parks results in physiological and psychological relaxation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited