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Article

The Perceived Restorativeness of Differently Managed Forests and Its Association with Forest Qualities and Individual Variables: A Field Experiment

1
Natural Resources Institute Finland, Latokartanonkaari 9, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
2
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 7, 000790 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020422
Received: 19 November 2020 / Revised: 20 December 2020 / Accepted: 31 December 2020 / Published: 7 January 2021
Despite increasing research knowledge about the positive well-being effects forests have on citizens, it is still unclear how the quality of forests and individual variables effect the well-being. This research investigated (1) the differences in restorative experiences (components being away, fascination, compatibility and extent, measured by perceived restorativeness (PRS)), and (2) how people evaluate forest qualities in four differently managed forests. Furthermore, this research studied (3) which individual variables (4) as well as forest qualities, explain the overall restorative experience (PRS-score from all components). Altogether, 66 volunteers were taken in small groups to each of the four forest sites once, after their day at work. The participants viewed the forests for 15 min and then walked inside the forests for 30 min. Their perceived restorativeness and perceptions about forest qualities were measured on-site after each visit. Most of the components of PRS differed between the three older forests compared to the young forest. The three older forests also had more preferred qualities, compared to the young commercial forest. From the individual variables, the nature relatedness positively explained the restorative experiences (PRS-score) in old-growth forest and in mature commercial forest. Beauty was the most important quality that explained PRS-score in all forests. Biodiversity positively explained the PRS-score, except in urban recreation forest. However, not all forest qualities need to be present in order to reach high perceived restorativeness and both a pristine or managed old forest can have high restorative values. Also, decaying wood does not seem to diminish forests’ restorative values, but there may be individual differences in its acceptance. Therefore, a greater attention to the overall versatility is needed when managing the forest used for outdooring. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest management; biodiversity; forest qualities; individual variables; nature relatedness; psychological restoration; well-being; field experiment; perceived restorativeness forest management; biodiversity; forest qualities; individual variables; nature relatedness; psychological restoration; well-being; field experiment; perceived restorativeness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Simkin, J.; Ojala, A.; Tyrväinen, L. The Perceived Restorativeness of Differently Managed Forests and Its Association with Forest Qualities and Individual Variables: A Field Experiment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 422. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020422

AMA Style

Simkin J, Ojala A, Tyrväinen L. The Perceived Restorativeness of Differently Managed Forests and Its Association with Forest Qualities and Individual Variables: A Field Experiment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(2):422. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020422

Chicago/Turabian Style

Simkin, Jenni, Ann Ojala, and Liisa Tyrväinen. 2021. "The Perceived Restorativeness of Differently Managed Forests and Its Association with Forest Qualities and Individual Variables: A Field Experiment" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 2: 422. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18020422

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