The Influence of Virtual Forest Walk on Physiological and Psychological Responses
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
The authors of this paper sought to investigate the impact of virtual forest therapy based on realistic versus dreamlike environments on reducing stress levels. Today, people are facing an increase in stress levels in everyday life, which may be due to personal life, work environment, or urban area expansion. Previous studies have reported that urban environments demand more attention and mental workload than natural environments. However, evidence for the effects of natural environments as virtual forest therapy on stress levels has not yet been fully explored. In this study, a total of 20 healthy participants completed a letter-detection test to increase their stress level and were then randomly assigned to two different virtual environments representing realistic and dreamlike graphics. The participants’ stress levels were assessed using two physiological methods that measured heart rate and skin conductance levels and one psychological method through the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire. These indicators were analyzed using a sample t-test and a one-way analysis of variance. The results showed that virtual forest environments could have positive stress-relieving effects. However, realistic graphics were more efficient in reducing stress. These findings contribute to growing forest therapy concepts and provide new directions for future forest therapy research.
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