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Stress recovery in forest or handicraft environments - an intervention study

Dolling, Ann and Nilsson, Hanna and Lundell, Ylva (2017). Stress recovery in forest or handicraft environments - an intervention study. Urban forestry & urban greening. 27 , 162-172
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2017.07.006


In modern society stress is a major problem, causing lack of mental and social well-being as well as potential vulnerability to problems at work. Previous studies have found natural environments to be relaxing. In this intervention study, performed in Northern Sweden, the hypothesis was that an outdoor forest environment would be more relaxing than an indoor handicraft environment. Forty-six participants with high stress levels (PSQ >= 0.4) (33 women, 13 men, average age 48 years) were randomly assigned to visit either the forest environment (n = 27) or the handicraft environment (n = 19). The participants visited their assigned environment twice a week during three months, either in autumn or spring. During each visit they spent two hours performing, simple and undemanding activities. Psychological health outcomes were measured by the questionnaires CIS, PSQ, SCQ, SMBQ, SF-36 before and after the three months interventions. Sleeping patterns were monitored by an Actiwatch and sleep diary. The participants' mood before and after each visit were estimated by a questionnaire. The results show that the participants' health had improved after the interventions in both the forest and handicraft environments. The sleep latency increased slightly among participants in the handicraft environment. For participants in both environments the levels of fatigue, stress and burnout were all lower. They felt less limitation due to physical problems and did not feel so tired. Also their mental health had improved. From start to end of a visit to either environments the participants' mood was improved, and they felt more relaxed, alert, happy, harmonious, peaceful and clearheaded. Over time during the intervention, they also felt significantly more clearheaded. We conclude that the health of all participants improved, irrespective of the environment visited.

Authors/Creators:Dolling, Ann and Nilsson, Hanna and Lundell, Ylva
Title:Stress recovery in forest or handicraft environments - an intervention study
Series Name/Journal:Urban forestry & urban greening
Year of publishing :2017
Page range:162-172
Number of Pages:11
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X38 Human medicine, health, and safety
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:Human health, Nature assisted therapy, Handicraft, Restoration, Stress, Urban forestry
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000418470600020
ID Code:15284
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Feb 2018 14:15
Metadata Last Modified:22 Feb 2018 14:15

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