Effects of woodland walking on salivary stress markers cortisol and chromogranin A

Complement Ther Med. 2013 Feb;21(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.11.004. Epub 2012 Dec 23.


Objective: We investigated the effect of walking through woodland on salivary endocrinological stress markers, cortisol and chromogranin A (CgA).

Design: From 20 healthy males, saliva samples were collected immediately before and after the walk, and 20min and 40min after that. In addition, using visual analog scales, subjective perceptions of stress and of feeling tired and uplifted were evaluated. On another day, as a control, they sat around in their office and samples were collected at the same times. Salivary cortisol and CgA levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: Samples taken after the walk showed a significant increase in the levels of CgA. Meanwhile, there was no significant change in the levels of cortisol. In control samples, there was a statistically significant decrease in the levels of both CgA and cortisol. Feelings uplifted and tired increased and subjective perception of stress decreased significantly after the walk. During the control period, there were no such changes.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that, while walking in woodland becomes a physical stressor, such activity may also bring about feeling uplifted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Chromogranin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Trees
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Walking / psychology


  • Chromogranin A
  • Hydrocortisone