chapter  8
10 Pages

Forest bathing in Japan


Humans have long enjoyed forest environments because of the quiet atmosphere, beautiful scenery, mild climate, pleasant aromas, and fresh, clean air. These factors combine to induce beneficial effects on mood states (Li et al., 2012). In Japan, a forest refers to land with a tree canopy cover of more than 30 per cent and area of more than 0.3 hectares. The trees reach a minimum height of 5 m with a width of more than 20 m. The main forests comprise Japanese cypress, cedar, beech, oak, and white birch (Li, 2012). Researchers in Japan have proposed a new concept called forest bathing (Li et al., 2007) and assessed its role in preventing lifestylerelated diseases. Incorporating forest bathing into a healthy lifestyle was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan (Li et al., 2007).