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Nature contact, psychological well-being, and physiological stress reactivity and recovery: A multi-study report of cross-sectional and randomized controlled experimental findings

XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022










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    Article
    Influence of forest visitors’ perceived restorativeness on social–psychological stress
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    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 May 1 and July 15, 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. Keywords: COVID-19; social–psychological stress; PWI-SF (Psychosocial Well-being Index Short Form); ART (attention restoration theory); PRS (Perceived Restorativeness Scale); forest cultural and recreational resources ID: 3474630
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    Document
    Effects of forest therapy programs on the psychological and physiological improvement of firefighters
    XV World Forestry Congress, 2-6 May 2022
    2022
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    Firefighters are constantly exposed to dangerous incidents of fire suppression, emergency relief and first aid activities. They go through posttraumatic stress disorder by terrible incidents and disasters, and long-term stress leads to depression threatening their mental health. This study was carried out with the purpose of inquiring into effects of the experience of forest therapy programs of four nights and five days obtained in a psychological and physiological perspective, oriented to firefighters who are mentally and physically tired by stress from urgent and dangerous field works and long-term shift works. 108 firefighters participate in the programs of stress resilience (four nights and five days), the program customized to firefighters held in National Center for Forest Activities. To inquire into psychological and physiological effects before and after the participation in the programs, this study conducted the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist (PCL-5-K) and the test of mood states (K-POMS-B), as well as measured quality of sleep and heart rate variability. For the analysis, mean comparison was made by using a paired t-test. According to the analysis of psychological index, posttraumatic stress disorder reduced from 11.44 (before participation) to 5.14 (after participation), showing statistically significant changes. As for mood states, the score decreased from 6.50 to 5.53. On the other hand, quality of sleep diminished from 33.85 to 28.73, manifesting statistically significant improvement. HRV likewise improved statistically significantly. This study verified that forest therapy programs contributed to relieving stress of firefighters, increasing their physical and psychological stability, and improving quality of sleep. The research results expect that forest therapy programs can be applied as a base data to strengthen stress resilience of firefighters and prevent their posttraumatic stress disorder. Keywords: Human health and well-being, Research ID: 3484445
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    Productive public investment in agriculture for economic recovery with rural well-being: an analysis of prospective scenarios for Uganda 2022
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    This study highlights how, through a series of scenarios, public investments promoting agricultural productivity in Uganda could drive growth in agrifood production, with favourable impacts on the economy, on well-being and on poverty, especially in rural areas. Using a modelling tool to represent the Ugandan economy, with its multiple sectors and current fiscal constraints, the study ranked the subsectors of Uganda’s agriculture that, through the productivity impact of public investments representing 0.25 percent of GDP (on average, about 373 billion 2017 Uganda shillings) during the years 2023–2025, will generate the greatest socio-economic benefits, maximizing the cost-effectiveness of the public investments. Generally, economic growth and the welfare of households, as measured by their consumption, will be positively impacted, but the impacts will ultimately depend on the sector that receives the investment, which is shown in a ranking. The agricultural sectors targeted for government investment will increase their output (and food prices will thus fall), and this will stimulate growth in non-agricultural sectors, both by increasing final demand for non-agricultural products and by lowering input prices and fostering upstream processing. Lower food prices will have a significant impact since food represents a relatively large proportion of the consumption basket of poorest households. Furthermore, labour income for rural households will increase with productivity growth, and this will reduce rural poverty. The findings of this study provide important information about the priorities of Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP) III and vision for agriculture, as well as new priorities to be considered for enabling economic recovery with increased well-being post-COVID-19.

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