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Review
. 2017 Aug 16;17(1):409.
doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1912-z.

Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Free PMC article
Review

Blood Pressure-Lowering Effect of Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Yuki Ideno et al. BMC Complement Altern Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Shinrin-yoku (experiencing the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) has received increasing attention from the perspective of preventive medicine in recent years. Some studies have reported that the forest environment decreases blood pressure. However, little is known about the possibility of anti-hypertensive applications of Shinrin-yoku. This study aimed to evaluate preventive or therapeutic effects of the forest environment on blood pressure.

Methods: We systematically reviewed the medical literature and performed a meta-analysis.Four electronic databases were systematically searched for the period before May 2016 with language restriction of English and Japanese. The review considered all published, randomized, controlled trials, cohort studies, and comparative studies that evaluated the effects of the forest environment on changes in systolic blood pressure. A subsequent meta-analysis was performed.

Results: Twenty trials involving 732 participants were reviewed. Systolic blood pressure of the forest environment was significantly lower than that of the non-forest environment. Additionally, diastolic blood pressure of the forest environment was significantly lower than that of the non-forest environment.

Conclusions: This systematic review shows a significant effect of Shinrin-yoku on reduction of blood pressure.

Keywords: Blood pressure; Forest bathing; Meta-analysis; Pulse rate; Systematic review.

Conflict of interest statement

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Not applicable.

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Flow chart of the study selection process for the present study
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Forest plot comparing changes in SBP (mmHg) between the forest environment and the non-forest environment based on 20 studies or subgroups CI, confidence interval.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Two forest plots of the change in SBP (mmHg) in the two subgroup analyses of SBP levels of 1) ≥ 130 and 2) < 130 mmHg before the intervention. 1) SBP ≥ 130 mmHg. 2) SBP < 130 mmHg. CI, confidence interval
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Two forest plots of the change in SBP (mmHg) in the two subgroup analyses of differences in intervention methods (walking and non-walking). 1) Walking group. 2) Non-walking group. CI, confidence interval
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Three forest plots of the change in SBP (mmHg) in the two subgroup analyses of the three groups of sex and age differences. 1) Young male (university student) group. 2) Middle-aged or older male group. 3) Middle-aged or older female group. CI, confidence interval
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Funnel plot, using data from 20 trials of therapeutic effects of the forest environment on systolic blood pressure. SE, standard error; MD, mean difference

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