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Review

Health Benefits Derived from Forest: A Review

1
Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry, University of Florence, I-50144 Florence, Italy
2
Economic and Social Research Institute, D02 K138 Dublin, Ireland
3
Trinity College Dublin, D02 PN40 Dublin, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176125
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 23 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future and Feature Paper in Environment and Applied Ecology)
In this paper the scientific literature on the association between forests, stress relief and relaxation is reviewed with the purpose to understand common patterns of research, the main techniques used for analysis, findings relevant to forest-therapy-oriented management, and knowledge gaps. The database of studies was collected with a keyword search on the Web, which returned a set of 32 studies that were included in the analysis. The main findings and patterns were identified with a text mining analysis of the abstract to search for keyword patterns across studies. The analysis indicates that most studies compared rest and relaxation performances across urban and forest environments and used a combination of self-reported measure of stress or rest collected with validate scales, e.g., the Profile of Mood of States (POMS) and the Restoration Outcome Scale (ROS), and a minority-only set of these two groups of indicators. Results of this review indicate that primary studies identified a positive association between forest exposure and mental well-being, in particular when compared to urban environments, thus suggesting that forest are effective in lowering stress levels. This study found that, to date, the characteristics of forests and characteristics of the visit are little investigated in the literature. For this reason, more research with a focus on forest variables such as tree species composition, tree density and other variables affecting forest landscape should be further investigated to inform forest management. Similarly, the characteristics of the visits (e.g., length of visit and frequency) should be further explored to provide robust forest therapy guidelines. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest therapy; forest recreation; relaxation; stress relief; quantitative analysis; psycho-physiological indicators forest therapy; forest recreation; relaxation; stress relief; quantitative analysis; psycho-physiological indicators
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MDPI and ACS Style

Grilli, G.; Sacchelli, S. Health Benefits Derived from Forest: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6125. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176125

AMA Style

Grilli G, Sacchelli S. Health Benefits Derived from Forest: A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6125. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176125

Chicago/Turabian Style

Grilli, Gianluca, and Sandro Sacchelli. 2020. "Health Benefits Derived from Forest: A Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 17: 6125. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176125

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