Mood Emot 2023 Mar; 21(1): 1-7
The Effect of Forest Healing Program on the Psychological and Physiological Changes of the Employees: A Preliminary Study
Bo-Mi Jung, MS1 , Su-Mi Hyun, MA2 , Bo-Hyun Yoon, MD, PhD2 , Jye-Heon Song, MD2 , Kyung-Min Kim, MD2 , Hyoung-Yeon Kim, BS2, Deuk-Sil Oh, MS1 , Seok-Myun Lee, MS1
1Jeonnam Forest Resources Research Institute, 2Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, Naju, Korea
Correspondence to: Bo-Hyun Yoon, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Naju Nationl Hospital, 1328-31 Senam-ro, Sanpo-myeon, Naju 58213, Korea
TEL +82-61-330-4101 FAX +82-61-336-8125 E-mail ORCID
Jye-Heon Song, MD
Department of Psychiatry, Naju Nationl Hospital, 1328-31 Senam-ro, Sanpo-myeon, Naju 58213, Korea
TEL +82-61-330-4182 FAX +82-61-330-4150 E-mail ORCID
Received: March 16, 2023; Accepted: March 21, 2023; Published online: March 31, 2023.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effect of a forest healing program on psychological and physiological changes in employees exposed to work-related stress.
Methods: This study included 38 employees whose workplaces were located in Naju and Jeonnam. They were given a set of forest healing programs. They completed self-rating scales to assess changes in anxiety, depression, and work-related stress. Salivary cortisol levels, electroencephalography changes, and photoplethysmography components were also assessed. The mean differences in these parameters before and after treatment were analyzed.
Results: The mean ages of male and female employees were different (p<0.010). After controlling for age as a covariate, all variables were examined for main and sex-associated effects using two-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Although the mean changes in saliva cortisol levels were significantly lower after treatment, the sex-associated and interaction effects were found to be insignificant.
Conclusion: Although the short-term forest healing program did not provide notable results, it may have beneficial effects on certain psychological and physiological aspects. Further studies are warranted to determine the feasibility of the forest healing program as a suitable stress management strategy for employees.
Keywords: Forestry; Anxiety; Hydrocortisone

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