Research article

The tree-species-specific effect of forest bathing on perceived anxiety alleviation of young-adults in urban forests

Haoming Guan, Hongxu Wei , Xingyuan He, Zhibin Ren, Baiyi An

Haoming Guan
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, P.R. China & University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China
Hongxu Wei
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, P.R. China. Email: weihongxu@iga.ac.cn
Xingyuan He
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, P.R. China
Zhibin Ren
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, P.R. China
Baiyi An
College of Horticulture, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, P.R. China

Online First: November 24, 2017
Guan, H., Wei, H., He, X., Ren, Z., An, B. 2017. The tree-species-specific effect of forest bathing on perceived anxiety alleviation of young-adults in urban forests. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2017.897


Forest bathing, i.e. spending time in a forest to walk, view and breathe in a forest, can alleviate the mental depression of visitors, but the tree-species-specific effect of this function by the urban forest is unknown. In this study, sixty-nine university students (aged 19-22, male ratio: 38%) were recruited as participants to visit urban forests dominated by birch (Betula platyphylla Suk.), maple (Acer triflorum Komarov) and oak (Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb) trees in a park at the center of Changchun City, Northeast China. In the maple forest only the anxiety from study interest was decreased, while the anxiety from employment pressure was alleviated to the most extent in the birch forest. Participants perceived more anxiety from lesson declined in the oak forest than in the birch forest. Body parameters of weight and age were correlated with the anti-anxiety scores. In the oak forest, female participants can perceive more anxiety alleviation than male participants. For university students, forest bathing in our study can promote their study interest. Forest bathing can be more effective to alleviate the anxiety of young adults with greater weight. The birch forest was recommended to be visited by students to alleviate the pressure of employment worry, and the oak forest was recommended to be visited by girls.


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  • Haoming Guan
  • Hongxu Wei
  • Xingyuan He
  • Zhibin Ren
  • Baiyi An
  • Haoming Guan
  • Hongxu Wei
  • Xingyuan He
  • Zhibin Ren
  • Baiyi An