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Article

Measures to Promote Rural Healthcare Tourism with a Scientific Evidence-Based Approach

1
Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34134, Korea
3
Gyeonggi Regional Headquarter, Korea Rural Community Corporation, 347 Jangan-ro, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16346, Korea
4
Forestry and Forest Products Research Insitute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3266; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093266
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 5 May 2020 / Published: 7 May 2020
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of physical activities on human health in forests in countryside and rural areas. The test experiment was conducted in a countryside forest, whereas the controlled experiment was conducted in an urban area where the study participants resided. A total of 22 participants (aged 20.9 ± 1.3 years) were evaluated in this study. Heart rate variability and salivary cortisol level were used as indices of physiological conditions, and semantic differential method, profile of mood states (POMS), and state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) were used to evaluate the participants’ emotional states. The participants were asked to walk around forest and urban areas for 15 min. The results were as follows. As compared to the urban area, in the forest area, (1) the power of the high-frequency (HF) component of the heart rate variability (HRV) was significantly higher; (2) low-frequency (LF)/(LF + HF) was significantly lower; (3) salivary cortisol level was significantly lower; (4) the participants felt more comfortable, natural, relaxed, and less anxious and showed higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions. Consequently, walking in the forest area induces relaxing short-term physiological and psychological effects on young people living in urban areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: healthcare tourism; forest bathing; rural and mountain economy; physical activity; walking; heart rate variability; salivary cortisol; POMS; STAI healthcare tourism; forest bathing; rural and mountain economy; physical activity; walking; heart rate variability; salivary cortisol; POMS; STAI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Joung, D.; Lee, B.; Lee, J.; Lee, C.; Koo, S.; Park, C.; Kim, S.; Kagawa, T.; Park, B.-J. Measures to Promote Rural Healthcare Tourism with a Scientific Evidence-Based Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3266. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093266

AMA Style

Joung D, Lee B, Lee J, Lee C, Koo S, Park C, Kim S, Kagawa T, Park B-J. Measures to Promote Rural Healthcare Tourism with a Scientific Evidence-Based Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(9):3266. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093266

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joung, Dawou, Bohwi Lee, Jeongdo Lee, Changjun Lee, Seungmo Koo, Changwon Park, Sebin Kim, Takahide Kagawa, and Bum-Jin Park. 2020. "Measures to Promote Rural Healthcare Tourism with a Scientific Evidence-Based Approach" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 9: 3266. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093266

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