2013 Volume 28 Pages 82-89
Several complementary and alternative regimens have been developed to encourage relaxation and control stress. Recently, "shinrin-yoku"(walking in a forest and viewing the forest landscapes) has been recognized as a successful relaxation activity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a "shinrin-yoku" program on stress and relaxation for adolescent girls.
Twenty-seven girls, aged 12 to 14 years, participated in a program that included walking in a forest and viewing the forest landscape; performing the same activities in a city area was used as a control experience. Salivary amylase activities, the Mood Inventory, and subjective relaxation were measured. The mean values of salivary amylase activities decreased in the forest and increased in the city. The responses to the Mood Inventory indicated a relaxed mood after walking the forest. In addition, the presence of negative moods in the forest was significantly lower than in the city, and the subjective relaxation level in the forest was significantly higher than in the city. Our results indicated that the forest environment was effective in increasing relaxation and decreasing stress and fatigue. Shinrin-yoku may play a role in improving or maintaining the psychological health of adolescent girls.