Effects of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on individual well-being: an umbrella review

Int J Environ Health Res. 2022 Aug;32(8):1842-1867. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2021.1919293. Epub 2021 Apr 28.


The aim of this review was to outline the most relevant benefits of forest bathing for well-being promotion. This study was designed as an umbrella literature review. Medline (via PubMed), EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, Scopus, PsycINFO, CINAHL and the DOAJ were systematically searched for relevant reviews up to February 2021. After article selection, 16 systematic reviews met inclusion criteria. Overall, the best available evidence supports the use of forest bathing as a complementary practice for the promotion of psychophysical well-being, whereas evidence for its use as a therapeutic practice for the improvement of organic diseases needs to grow before clear and specific clinical indications can be formulated. The positive impact of forest bathing on individual quality of life, along with its favorable cost-effectiveness profile, may justify its possible adoption for public health strategies of well-being promotion. Further investigations on the topic are advised.

Keywords: Forest bathing; environmental health; review; stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Forests*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic