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Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(11)2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869617


Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has discouraged travel and people's movements, the number of visitors to forests near cities which are easily accessible by private vehicle is increasing in Korea. This study aims to investigate the relationship between stress, perceived restorativeness, forest recreation motivation, and the mental well-being of forest users. A survey of forest users was conducted at three recreational forests near Seoul in the summer of 2020. A total of 1196 forest users (613 males and 583 females) participated in the study. As a result of the data analysis, it was found that stress had a negative correlation with perceived restorativeness, forest recreation motivation, and mental well-being; perceived restorativeness had a positive correlation with mental well-being, and forest recreation motivation had a positive correlation with mental well-being. For the relationship between stress and mental well-being, the fitness index that was mediated by the perceived restorativeness and the forest recreation motivation found that the model was statistically suitable. Through this study, a research model was derived that, if the stress of forest users is reduced, direct or indirect effects on perceived restorativeness, forest recreation motivation, and mental well-being are increased. Further, a multi-group analysis found that the effect of perceived restorativeness and forest recreation motivation on the mental well-being of the male group was higher than the effect on the female group. Using this research model to find ways to promote health in forests can be utilized for forest management or forest healing.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Forests , Health Promotion , Humans , Male , Motivation , Pandemics , Recreation
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776185


This study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term exercise, within the natural environment or by applying similar visual stimulation, on concentration and positive psychological capital among Korean college students. Participants were 175 male college students-selected by non-probabilistic sampling-from the Korean National Police University in Asan-si, Republic of Korea, in March 2021. Participants were divided into three condition groups: the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise (n = 57), visual stimulation with indoor exercise (n = 58), and indoor exercise (control group; n = 60). The variables measured were concentration and positive psychological capital. Pre- and post-exercise data differences were analyzed using two-way (3 × 2) analysis of variance and Pearson's correlation analysis, and statistical significance was set at 0.05. The results revealed a significant main effect on concentration, with lower scores post-intervention indicating positive changes in all three groups. In addition, the scores for positive psychological capital sub-factors (self-efficacy, optimism, and hope), in the groups with the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise and visual stimulation with indoor exercise conditions, reflected higher positive change than the indoor exercise group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the Bonferroni post hoc test on this interaction effect revealed that the participant scores for the natural environmental exposure with outdoor exercise and visual stimulation with indoor exercise groups were positive after the exercise (p < 0.05). However, there was no interaction effect for the ego-resilience subscale (p > 0.05). Therefore, participating in short-term exercise while being exposed to a natural environment with healing characteristics or providing visual stimulation of a similar natural environment was found to positively impact the Korean college students' concentration and positive psychological capital's self-efficacy, optimism, and hope. Moreover, this particular intervention only affects subjective measures of well-being while not particularly influencing objective measures, such as cognitive functioning. We recommend implementing similar visual stimulation with indoor exercise for the current generation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(12)2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270030


This study was conducted to verify the perceived restorativeness of citizens visiting forests on social-psychological stress and psychological resilience according to forest space type. The study involved a questionnaire survey conducted on citizens who visited forests between 1 May and 15 July 2020, when social distancing in daily life was being implemented. Three types of forest spaces (urban forest, national park, and natural recreation forest) were selected for the survey. They used the survey results of 1196 people as analysis data for this study. In this study, the PRS (Perceived Restorativeness Scale) and the PWI-SF (Psychosocial Well-being Index Short Form) were used to evaluate perceived restorativeness and social-psychological stress of citizens visiting forests. In the study, the average score of visitors' perceived restorativeness was 5.31 ± 0.77. Social-psychological stress was found in the healthy group, potential stress group, and high-risk group. These groups made up 8.0%, 82.5%, and 9.5% of the respondents, respectively. Pearson's correlation analysis between perceived restorativeness and social-psychological stress revealed that the higher the perceived restorativeness, the lower the social-psychological stress. "Diversion Mood", "Not bored", and "Coherence", which are the sub-factors of perceived restorativeness according to the forest space type, were found to have meaningful results for psychological resilience. However, there was no significant difference in the forest space type between "Compatibility" and social-psychological stress, which are sub-factors of perceived restorativeness. In conclusion, the forest space type affects the psychological resilience of those who visit the forest. Urban forests, national parks, and natural recreation forests are places to reduce stress.

Forests , Stress, Psychological , Humans , Parks, Recreational , Surveys and Questionnaires