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Cardiac and pulmonary benefits of forest walking versus city walking in elderly women: A randomised, controlled, open-label trial

 Jee-Yon Lee  ;  Duk-Chul Lee 
 European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Vol.6(1) : 5-11, 2014 
Journal Title
 European Journal of Integrative Medicine 
Issue Date
Forest environment ; Arterial stiffness ; Pulmonary function ; Phytoncides ; Exercise ; Walking
Introduction : Interest increases in the role of the natural environment providing health benefits. This study compared forest and city walking on arterial stiffness and pulmonary function. Methods : A single-centre, parallel, randomised, and controlled, open-label trial was conducted. Seventy women >60 years were recruited into the study. The forest-walking group walked around a forested area for 1 h. The city-walking group walked around an urban area for 1 h. Blood pressure, arterial stiffness (CAVI), and pulmonary function (FEV1, FEV6) were assessed before and 30 min after the walking activity. Results : Of the 70 women randomly assigned to the forest walking (n = 50) or city walking (n = 20) groups. Eight participants were excluded from analysis due to early dropout leaving43 participants in the forest-walking group and 19 in the city-walking group. One hour of forest walking significantly improved CAVI (p < 0.01), FEV1 (p < 0.01) and FEV6 (p < 0.01). No significant change was observed in the city-walking group. There were significant differences in changes of CAVI (p < 0.01), FEV1 (p = 0.02), and FEV6 (p = 0.04), between the city-walking and the forest-walking groups. No significant side effects were reported. Conclusion : Our results showed that forest walking improved arterial stiffness and pulmonary function in 61 elderly Korean women. Further large scale and long-term studies are needed to better understand the clinical significance of these findings. Clinical trial registered with www.cris.org (KCT0000631).
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Family Medicine (가정의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Lee, Duk Chul(이덕철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9166-1813
Lee, Jee Yon(이지연)
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