Shinrin-Yoku: The Restorative Power of Forest Bathing
Time outdoors around the world.
2 Min. Read | Hiking
What’s the science behind shinrin-yoku?
We know that time outside has numerous health benefits, for both body and mind. A study in the journal Psychological Science, for example, found that just an hour spent walking in nature improved attention span and memory by 20%. And the benefits of forest bathing in particular – those immersive, meditative walks in nature – are becoming clear as well.
In Japan, a study in the International Journal of Biometeorology found that forest bathing reduced the blood glucose levels of diabetics by 39.7%, more than with indoor exercise. The same study also discovered that certain forest trees emit organic compounds called phytoncides, and inhaling these compounds has been proven to decrease blood pressure and improve immune system functions.
In light of these findings, the Japanese government has developed 48 therapy trails throughout the country. It’s a way of helping provide access to everyone who wants to experience the healing benefits of time outside.