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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of a Short Forest Recreation Program on Physiological and Psychological Relaxation in Young Polish Adults

1
Department of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture, University of Warmia and Mazury, Pl. Łódzki 2, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
2
Department of General Pedagogy, Faculty of Social Science, ul. Żołnierska 14, 10-561 Olsztyn, Poland
3
Institute of Dendrology Polish Academy of Sciences, Parkowa 5, 62-035 Kórnik, Poland
4
Faculty of Forestry, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
5
Environmental Planning Laboratory, Department of Forest Management, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Japan, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010034
Received: 14 October 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Forest recreation is an activity that could be successfully used to alleviate negative symptoms of stress in individuals. Multiple positive psychological and physiological effects have been described in the literature, especially regarding works describing research from Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. In East-Central Europe, however, the effectuality of forest recreation has not been addressed in scientific research. Thus, a special recreation program was developed, and its usability was examined with the involvement of 21 young Polish adults. A pre- and post-test design was used, wherein four psychological questionnaires were applied (Profile of Mood States, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Restorative Outcomes Scale, Subjective Vitality Scale), and physiological measures were assessed (pulse rate, blood pressure) before and after the program. A field study was also conducted at the nature reserve Redykajny, near the suburban forest of the city of Olsztyn. The recreational program had a significant impact on psychological and physiological parameters. After recreation, the negative mood markers of the negative affect decreased and the positive affect, including restoration and vitality, increased. Furthermore, pulse rates, systolic blood pressures, and mean arterial pressures of the participants were significantly lower after the program. These results reveal that the short forest recreation program may be effective in reducing negative symptoms of stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: emotional affect; blood pressure; forest bathing; forest therapy; mood; nature reserve; pulse rate; restoration; Shinrin-Yoku; stress reduction emotional affect; blood pressure; forest bathing; forest therapy; mood; nature reserve; pulse rate; restoration; Shinrin-Yoku; stress reduction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bielinis, E.; Bielinis, L.; Krupińska-Szeluga, S.; Łukowski, A.; Takayama, N. The Effects of a Short Forest Recreation Program on Physiological and Psychological Relaxation in Young Polish Adults. Forests 2019, 10, 34.

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