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J. People Plants Environ > Volume 22(3); 2019 > Article
Journal of People, Plants, and Environment 2019;22(3):309-319.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.11628/ksppe.2019.22.3.309    Published online June 30, 2019.
The Effects of Watching a Virtual Reality (VR) Forest Video on Stress Reduction in Adults
Sungjun Hong  , Dawou Joung, Jeongdo Lee, Da-Young Kim, Soojin Kim, Bum-Jin Park 
Department of Environment & Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
Correspondence:  Bum-Jin Park,
Email: bjpark@cnu.ac.kr
Received: 3 April 2019   • Revised: 19 April 2019   • Accepted: 21 May 2019
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of watching a virtual reality (VR) forest video on stress reduction in adults. Experiments were performed in an artificial climate chamber where temperature, humidity and illumination were controlled. To cause stress in subjects, the subjects were asked to multiply two digit numbers by one digit numbers for two minutes. The subjects then watched a VR forest video for five minutes. During the experiment, the heart rate variability (HRV) and heart rate (HR) of subjects were continuously measured for evaluating their physiological state. After measuring the baseline and watching a VR forest video, their psychological state was evaluated using the profile of mood state (POMS), semantic differential (SD) method, and positive affect and negative affect schedule (PANAS). The results of physiological evaluation after watching a VR forest video showed a decrease in the stress index and HR, an increase in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, and the standard deviation of normal to normal RR intervals (SDNN). The results of psychological assessment confirmed that watching a VR forest video induced “comfort”, “natural”, and “soothed” feelings in subjects. In addition, watching a VR forest video decreased “tension-anxiety (T-A)”, “depression-dejection (D)”, “anger-hostility (A-H)”, “fatigue (F)”, “total mood disturbance (TMD)”, and increased “vigor (V)” compared to the base line, and decreased “negative affect” and increased “positive affect.” These results indicate that watching a VR forest video decreases adults’ stress index, stabilizes physiological state, and has a positive impact on psychological state. The findings of this study can serve as a basis for providing forest welfare services to people in the blind spots of forest welfare, and can lay a foundation for the adoption of VR, one of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in forestry.
KeyWords: forest landscape, forest therapy, forest welfare, heart rate variability, profile of mood state
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