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J Int Med Res. 2006 Mar-Apr;34(2):152-9.

The effects of exercise in forest and urban environments on sympathetic nervous activity of normal young adults.

Author information

1
Department of Material Systems Engineering and Life Science, Faculty of Engineering, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan. yamag@eng.toyama-u.ac.jp

Abstract

In Japan, forest-air bathing and walking (shinrin-yoku) has been proposed as a health-facilitating activity in which people spend a short period of time in a forest environment. Initially, we examined the usefulness of salivary amylase activity as an indicator of an individual's stress levels in a forest environment. The circadian rhythm of salivary amylase activity was measured in healthy young male subjects under stress-free conditions. The salivary amylase activity remained relatively constant throughout the day. Salivary amylase activity was then measured before and after walking in both urban and forest environments using a hand-held monitor. Our results indicated that (i) the circadian rhythm fluctuations in salivary amylase activity were much smaller than the stressor-induced variations; (ii) salivary amylase activity was an excellent indicator of the changes in sympathetic nervous activity; and (iii) the forest was a good environment in which people could experience much less environment-derived stress.

PMID:
16749410
DOI:
10.1177/147323000603400204
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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