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Tsunetsugu Y.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Park B.-J.,Chungnam National University | Tyrvainen L.,Finnish Forest Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2013

The present study investigated the physiological and psychological effects of viewing urban forest landscapes on 48 young male urban residents. Four forested areas and four urban areas located in central and western Japan were used as the test sites. We found that in the forested areas, the subjects exhibited (i) significantly lower diastolic blood pressure, (ii) significantly higher parasympathetic nervous activity, but significantly lower sympathetic nervous activity, and (iii) significantly lower heart rate. The forest landscapes (iv) obtained better scores in subjective ratings, and (v) induced significantly less negative and more vigorous moods. Taken as whole, these findings suggest that even a short-term viewing of forests has relaxing effects. We have thus concluded that the approach taken in this study is useful in exploring the influences of urban green space on humans, as well as contributing to the planning and design of a healthy environment for urban residents. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Camacho L.D.,University of the Philippines at Los Baños | Combalicer M.S.,Korea Forest Service | Yeo-Chang Y.,Seoul National University | Combalicer E.A.,University of the Philippines at Los Baños | And 4 more authors.
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2012

In the Philippines, indigenous knowledge has been recognized to contribute to sustainability of production systems, having been validated for their technical and scientific soundness by many investigators. It was in 1992 that the Philippine government gave recognition to the potentials of indigenous knowledge systems following the Earth Summit in 1992. Prior to this, scientists/researchers, development workers and lawmakers in the Philippines were preoccupied with their craft seeking "modern" ways of doing and accomplishing things. Cordillera in the Northern Philippines is a host to many indigenous cultures like Isneg, Kalinga, Bontok, Kankanaey, Tingguian, Gaddang, Ayangan and Tuwali, Kalanguya or Ikalahan, Ibaloy and Karao whose traditional knowledge systems were subject of many studies and investigations.The paper describes the different knowledge systems for natural resources management in the Cordillera as practiced by the people with different beliefs, culture and traditions. The paper showcases different resource conserving experiences in these cultures like muyong and ala-a systems of the Ifugaos; lapat among the Isneg and Tingguians; inum-an, gen-gen, day-og, balkah, kinebbah, tuping and pamettey of the Ikalahans. These knowledge systems have been practiced by the indigenous peoples in the Cordillera and have been transmitted from generation to generation, making their way of life in harmony with their physical and social surroundings. While culture is environment specific, adoption/transfer of some indigenous technologies that may be fitting to other cultures and communities, with a little modification to suit their needs, can be done. © 2010.


Takayama N.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Korpela K.,University of Tampere | Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Morikawa T.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2014

The present study investigated the well-being effects of short-term forest walking and viewing ("forest bathing"). The hypothesis in our study was that both environment (forest vs. urban) and activity (walking and viewing) would influence psychological outcomes. An additional aim was to enhance basic research using several psychological methods. We conducted the experiments using 45 respondents in four areas of Japan from August to September, 2011. The hypothesis in our study was supported, because significant interaction terms between the environment and activity were confirmed regarding the Profile of Mood States (POMS) indexes, Restorative Outcome Scale (ROS) and Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS). No statistical differences between the two experimental groups in any of the ten scales were found before the experiment. However, feelings of vigor and positive effects, as well as feelings of subjective recovery and vitality were stronger in the forest environment than in the urban environment. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Lee M.-S.,Chiba University | Park B.-J.,Chungnam National University | Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Park K.-T.,Chiba University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Physiological Anthropology | Year: 2013

Background: Despite increasing attention and a growing volume of research data, little physiological evidence is available on the benefits of horticultural activity and the different effects on individuals. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological effects of horticultural activity and to examine how differences in personality alter these effects. Results: The effects of transplanting real flowers (horticultural activity) and handling artificial flowers (control activity) on human physiological activity were compared. On the first day, eight participants engaged in horticultural activity and another eight in the control activity. On the second day, participants switched roles. Participants' physiological conditions during each activity were assessed by measuring the heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV). Psychological responses, which were measured using a semantic differential rating scale, showed that the horticultural activity promoted comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings, compared to the control activity. Analysis of physiological responses using two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that sympathetic nervous activity significantly decreased in the late time period (11 to 15 minutes) of horticultural activity only in the type A group. Conclusions: This study supports the fact that the horticultural activity can enhance psychological and physiological relaxation effects, although these physiological effects can differ among individuals with different personalities. © 2013 Lee et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Igarashi M.,Chiba University | Yamamoto T.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization | Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Song C.,Chiba University | And 2 more authors.
Cognitive Processing | Year: 2014

Empirical evidence suggests that three-dimensional (3D) images of nature promote physiological relaxation in humans by providing more realistic effects compared with two-dimensional (2D) images. However, no studies have evaluated the physiological relaxation effects of nature-derived 3D images on prefrontal cortex and autonomic nerve activity. The present study aimed to clarify the physiological relaxation effects of visual stimulation by 3D flower images on prefrontal cortex and autonomic nerve activity. Nineteen male university students (22.2 ± 0.6 years) were presented with 3D and 2D images of the water lily for 90 s. Prefrontal cortex activity was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy, while autonomic nerve activity was measured using heart rate variability (HRV). Psychological effects were determined using a modified semantic differential method (SD). Compared with visual stimulation by 2D images, that by 3D images resulted in a significant decrease in oxyhemoglobin concentration in the right prefrontal cortex, lower sympathetic activity as calculated by the ratio of the low-frequency to high-frequency HRV component, and a significantly greater realistic feeling as evidenced by higher SD ratings. In conclusion, visual stimulation by realistic 3D floral images promotes physiological relaxation more effectively than the corresponding 2D image. © 2014, Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Tsunetsugu Y.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Takayama N.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Park B.-J.,Chungnam National University | And 7 more authors.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2014

Background. Despite increasing attention toward forest therapy as an alternative medicine, very little evidence continues to be available on its therapeutic effects. Therefore, this study was focused on elucidating the health benefits of forest walking on cardiovascular reactivity. Methods. Within-group comparisons were used to examine the cardiovascular responses to walking in forest and urban environments. Forty-eight young adult males participated in the two-day field research. Changes in heart rate variability, heart rate, and blood pressure were measured to understand cardiovascular reactivity. Four different questionnaires were used to investigate the changes in psychological states after walking activities. Results. Forest walking significantly increased the values of ln(HF) and significantly decreased the values of ln(LF/HF) compared with the urban walking. Heart rate during forest walking was significantly lower than that in the control. Questionnaire results showed that negative mood states and anxiety levels decreased significantly by forest walking compared with urban walking. Conclusion. Walking in the forest environment may promote cardiovascular relaxation by facilitating the parasympathetic nervous system and by suppressing the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, forest therapy may be effective for reducing negative psychological symptoms. © 2014 Juyoung Lee et al.


Lee J.,Korea Forest Service | Park B.-J.,Chungnam National University | Ohira T.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Kagawa T.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Miyazaki Y.,Chiba University
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Despite an increasing attention and public preference for rural amenities, little evidence is available on the health benefits of a rural environment. In this study, we identified physiological and psychological benefits of exposure to a rural environment using multiparametric methods. Twelve young male adults participated in a 3-day field experiment (mean ± standard deviation age, 22.3 ± 1.3 years). Sleeping environment, diet program, physical activities, and other factors possibly affecting physiological responses were controlled during experiment period. For all participants, salivary cortisol concentration, heart rate variability, and blood pressure were measured at rural and urban field sites. Self-evaluation questionnaires were administered to analyze the psychological states in two different environments. Volatile compounds in the air were also analyzed to investigate air quality. The data were compared between rural and urban environments. The data showed that exposure to a rural environment reduced stress hormone secretion and sympathetic nervous activity and increased parasympathetic nervous activity. Short-term exposure to a rural environment also improved mood states. Our findings indicate that exposure to a rural environment effectively reduced physiological stress and enhanced psychological well-being. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Bae K.,SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Lee D.K.,Seoul National University | Fahey T.J.,Cornell University | Woo S.Y.,University of Seoul | And 2 more authors.
Agroforestry Systems | Year: 2013

Agroforestry systems are widely practiced in tropical forests to recover degraded and deforested areas and also to balance the global carbon budget. However, our understanding of difference in soil respiration rates between agroforestry and natural forest systems is very limited. This study compared the seasonal variations in soil respiration rates in relation to fine root biomass, microbial biomass, and soil organic carbon between a secondary forest and two agroforestry systems dominated by Gmelina arborea and Dipterocarps in the Philippines during the dry and the wet seasons. The secondary forest had significantly higher (p < 0. 05) soil respiration rate, fine root biomass and soil organic matter than the agroforestry systems in the dry season. However, in the wet season, soil respiration and soil organic matter in the G. arborea dominated agroforestry system were as high as in the secondary forest. Whereas soil respiration was generally higher in the wet than in the dry season, there were no differences in fine root biomass, microbial biomass and soil organic matter between the two seasons. Soil respiration rate correlated positively and significantly with fine root biomass, microbial biomass, and soil organic C in all three sites. The results of this study indicate, to some degree, that different land use management practices have different effects on fine root biomass, microbial biomass and soil organic C which may affect soil respiration as well. Therefore, when introducing agroforestry system, a proper choice of species and management techniques which are similar to natural forest is recommended. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


PubMed | Korea Forest Service, Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Chungnam National University and Chiba University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health | Year: 2015

Despite an increasing attention and public preference for rural amenities, little evidence is available on the health benefits of a rural environment. In this study, we identified physiological and psychological benefits of exposure to a rural environment using multiparametric methods. Twelve young male adults participated in a 3-day field experiment (mean standard deviation age, 22.3 1.3 years). Sleeping environment, diet program, physical activities, and other factors possibly affecting physiological responses were controlled during experiment period. For all participants, salivary cortisol concentration, heart rate variability, and blood pressure were measured at rural and urban field sites. Self-evaluation questionnaires were administered to analyze the psychological states in two different environments. Volatile compounds in the air were also analyzed to investigate air quality. The data were compared between rural and urban environments. The data showed that exposure to a rural environment reduced stress hormone secretion and sympathetic nervous activity and increased parasympathetic nervous activity. Short-term exposure to a rural environment also improved mood states. Our findings indicate that exposure to a rural environment effectively reduced physiological stress and enhanced psychological well-being.


PubMed | Korea Forest Service and University of British Columbia
Type: | Journal: Journal of environmental management | Year: 2015

Korea, China, Japan and Canada are all members of the Montreal Process (MP). However, there has been little comparative research on the public awareness of forest values within the framework of Sustainable Forest Management, not only between Asia and Canada, but also among these three Asian countries. This is true of aesthetic values, especially as the MP framework has no indicator for aesthetic values. We conducted surveys to identify similarities and differences in the perceptions of various forest values, including aesthetic values, between residents of the four countries: university student groups in Korea, China, Japan and Canada, as well as a more detailed assessment of the attitudes of Koreans by including two additional groups, Korean office workers, and Koreans living in Canada. A multivariate analysis of variance test across the four university student groups revealed significant differences in the rating of six forest functions out of 31. However the same test across the three Korean groups indicated no significant differences indicating higher confidence in the generalizability of our university student comparisons. For the forest aesthetic values, an analysis of variance test showed no significant differences across all groups. The forest aesthetic value was rated 6.95 to 7.98 (out of 10.0) depending on the group and rated relatively highly among ten social values across all the groups. Thurstone scale rankings and relative distances of six major forest values indicated that climate change control was ranked as the highest priority and scenic beauty was ranked the lowest by all the groups. Comparison tests of the frequencies of preferred major forest values revealed no significant differences across the groups with the exception of the Japanese group. These results suggest that public awareness of aesthetic and other forest values are not clearly correlated with the cultural backgrounds of the individuals, and the Korean university students awareness could potentially be representative of the Koreans general publics opinion. We expect this research to contribute to the development of aesthetic and social indicators, and to the enhancement of balancing social with environmental and economic values within the SFM framework.

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