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Exploring the Physiological and Psychological Effects of Digital Shinrin-Yoku and Its Characteristics as a Restorative Environment

1
Department of Forest Management, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba 305-8687, Ibaraki, Japan
2
Department of Wood Engineering, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matunosato, Tsukuba 305-8687, Ibaraki, Japan
3
Independent Researcher, 5 Yatsu, Narashino 275-0026, Chiba, Japan
4
Forestdigital Inc., 1-51 Tokomuro, Urahoro, Tokachi 089-5633, Hokkaido, Japan
5
Shikoku Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 2-915 Asakuranishi, Kochi 780-8077, Kochi, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This author contributed equally to the research.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031202
Received: 5 October 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2022 / Published: 21 January 2022
This study investigated the physiological and psychological therapeutic effects of a digital Shinrin-yoku environment constructed indoors in an urban facility as well as the characteristics of the environment that contribute to restorativeness (restorative traits). We measured the fluctuations in the physical and mental states of 25 subjects by obtaining both before–after measurements and continuous measurements while exposed to a digital Shinrin-yoku environment that reproduced visual, auditory, and olfactory elements. The results demonstrated that the parasympathetic nerve activity was significantly increased and that the heart rate was significantly decreased during the exposure compared with that during the resting state. As for mood, five of the six Profile of Mood States (POMS) scales (“Tension–Anxiety,” “Depression,” “Anger–Hostility,” “Fatigue,” and “Confusion”) were significantly decreased after the experience. In addition, psychological restorative effects were also confirmed, with a significant decrease in “negative affect” (measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS)) and a significant increase in the sense of restorativeness (Restorative Outcome Scale (ROS)) after the experience. In contrast, comparing the digital Shinrin-yoku environment with the actual forest environment and the urban environment using POMS, PANAS, ROS, and Perceived Restorativeness Scale (PRS), the psychological effects and environmental traits of the digital Shinrin-yoku were found to be considerably similar to those of the actual forest environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital Shinrin-yoku; forest bathing; physiological effect; psychological effect; restorative trait; virtual experience; visual element; auditory element; olfactory element digital Shinrin-yoku; forest bathing; physiological effect; psychological effect; restorative trait; virtual experience; visual element; auditory element; olfactory element
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MDPI and ACS Style

Takayama, N.; Morikawa, T.; Koga, K.; Miyazaki, Y.; Harada, K.; Fukumoto, K.; Tsujiki, Y. Exploring the Physiological and Psychological Effects of Digital Shinrin-Yoku and Its Characteristics as a Restorative Environment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 1202. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031202

AMA Style

Takayama N, Morikawa T, Koga K, Miyazaki Y, Harada K, Fukumoto K, Tsujiki Y. Exploring the Physiological and Psychological Effects of Digital Shinrin-Yoku and Its Characteristics as a Restorative Environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(3):1202. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031202

Chicago/Turabian Style

Takayama, Norimasa, Takeshi Morikawa, Kazuko Koga, Yoichi Miyazaki, Kenichi Harada, Keiko Fukumoto, and Yuji Tsujiki. 2022. "Exploring the Physiological and Psychological Effects of Digital Shinrin-Yoku and Its Characteristics as a Restorative Environment" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 3: 1202. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031202

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