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Sandin Larkander, Jonna, 2023. Exploring the potential of a guided forest bathing programme as a nature-based intervention for well-being, restoration, and nature connection. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society

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Stress-related mental illness is a growing public health challenge worldwide and
Sweden is no exception. Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) is a nature-based intervention1
that was developed in Japan during the 1980s to curb growing incidences of stressrelated
illness in the society. Shinrin-yoku has spread across the world since the 1980s,
and in Sweden, the Scandinavian Nature and Forest Therapy Institute (SNFTI)
provide guided forest baths in accordance with the Eco-Forest Therapy theory,
method and guiding skills. The aim of this study was to evaluate how a three-week
guided Eco-Forest Therapy intervention programme was experienced by participants
and if participation increased perceived well-being, restoration, and nature connection
and decreased perceived fatigue/exhaustion. To strengthen the study´s results, a
sequential mixed methods design was adopted. The results show that the intervention
programme had significant positive effects on the participants perceived well-being,
fatigue, restoration, and nature connection and that feelings of well-being, restoration
and nature connection seem to be of a mutually reinforcing character. The positive
effects are confirmed both by the pre-and post-measurements of the whole
intervention programme, by the pre-and post-measurements of each forest bathing
session and by the results of the interviews. There is particularly strong evidence for
the beneficial health effects perceived directly after each forest bathing session, where
the standardized mean difference (effect size) is above one standard deviation for all
three baths. The beneficial short-term effects are also confirmed in the interviews. The
most valued experiences are; finding rest, reminder of personal needs, the guided
group sessions became a safe haven and fascinating nature experiences. The least
valued experiences are; feeling pressured to share – and reflect on other´s experiences,
disturbing sounds and emotional turmoil when slowing down.

Main title:Exploring the potential of a guided forest bathing programme as a nature-based intervention for well-being, restoration, and nature connection
Authors:Sandin Larkander, Jonna
Supervisor:Palsdottir, Anna Maria and Vårhammar, Annelie
Examiner:Stoltz, Jonathan and Bengtsson, Anna
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM007 Outdoor environments for health and well-being - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:stress-related mental illness, nature-based intervention, guided forest bathing, well-being, restoration, nature connection, public health intervention
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Nature conservation and land resources
Human medicine, health, and safety
Deposited On:17 Mar 2023 09:46
Metadata Last Modified:23 Mar 2023 02:04

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