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When Urban Environment Is Restorative: The Effect of Walking in Suburbs and Forests on Psychological and Physiological Relaxation of Young Polish Adults

1
Department of Forest Utilization, Institute of Forest Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
2
Department of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Management and Agriculture, University of Warmia and Mazury, Pl. Łódzki 2, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland
3
Department of Forest Management Planning, Dendrometry and Forest Economics, Institute of Forest Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
4
Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71e, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
5
College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(5), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050591
Received: 21 April 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 22 May 2020 / Published: 24 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
Background and Objectives: Physical activity, recreation and walks successfully counteract negative symptoms of stress in people, especially in large cities, and have many positive psychological and physiological effects. There are many studies showing that contact with nature plays an important role in the regeneration of the human body. The city is not without green enclaves such as forests, parks or greenery along the streets. However, it is not entirely clear how the different physical characteristics of the urban space affect mood improvement, increase of positive feelings, vitality level, etc. Materials and Methods: In the study, two urban environments (apartment and green suburbs) were used, as well as two forests (coniferous and deciduous) to measure the impact of these environments on human physiological and psychological relaxation during a walk in a randomized experiment. The participants of the experiment were 75 young adult Poles studying in the largest Polish agglomeration, Warsaw. Before each experiment, the physiological and psychological state of the participant was measured indoors (pre-test). Four psychological questionnaires were used in the project (Profile of Mood States; Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; Restorative Outcome Scale; Subjective Vitality Scale), and physiological measurements (heart rate, blood pressure) before and after the short walking program were evaluated. Results: As a result of the analyses, it was shown that both staying in an urban environment with greenery and staying in a forest environment have a positive effect on the physiological and psychological relaxation of the subjects. A short walk in the suburbs was no less attractive than a walk in the forest in fall. The above indicates that various places with urban vegetation can be successfully used for recreation, just as in a forest where forest bathing is practiced. This indicates that different places with urban greenery can be successfully used for recreation, as can the forests where forest bathing is carried out. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest bathing; forest therapy; positive and negative affect schedule; profile of mood states; restorative outcome sale; restoration; subjective vitality scale forest bathing; forest therapy; positive and negative affect schedule; profile of mood states; restorative outcome sale; restoration; subjective vitality scale
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MDPI and ACS Style

Janeczko, E.; Bielinis, E.; Wójcik, R.; Woźnicka, M.; Kędziora, W.; Łukowski, A.; Elsadek, M.; Szyc, K.; Janeczko, K. When Urban Environment Is Restorative: The Effect of Walking in Suburbs and Forests on Psychological and Physiological Relaxation of Young Polish Adults. Forests 2020, 11, 591. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050591

AMA Style

Janeczko E, Bielinis E, Wójcik R, Woźnicka M, Kędziora W, Łukowski A, Elsadek M, Szyc K, Janeczko K. When Urban Environment Is Restorative: The Effect of Walking in Suburbs and Forests on Psychological and Physiological Relaxation of Young Polish Adults. Forests. 2020; 11(5):591. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050591

Chicago/Turabian Style

Janeczko, Emilia; Bielinis, Ernest; Wójcik, Roman; Woźnicka, Małgorzata; Kędziora, Wojciech; Łukowski, Adrian; Elsadek, Mohamed; Szyc, Katarzyna; Janeczko, Krzysztof. 2020. "When Urban Environment Is Restorative: The Effect of Walking in Suburbs and Forests on Psychological and Physiological Relaxation of Young Polish Adults" Forests 11, no. 5: 591. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050591

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