Authors as Published

Authored by Joel Koci, Urban Forestry Associate Extension Specialist, College of Agriculture, Virginia State University; and Theresa J. Nartea, Associate Professor and Extension Marketing and Agribusiness Specialist, College of Agriculture, Virginia State University

This publication is available as a PDF only. 

Measures to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, such as social distancing, force individuals to spend more time indoors, removed from the natural environment. Social isolation coupled with the lack of outdoor exposure to nature may have a negative impact on an individual’s ability to cope with stress (Burtscher et al., 2020). Ongoing research indicates stress may reduce an individual’s immunity to disease (Seiler et al., 2020).

The purpose of this extension bulletin is to explain the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, also referred to as “forest bathing,” to individuals interested in an academically researched and low-cost, natural stress reduction technique that may have positive health outcomes for individuals dealing with COVID19 related stress factors. This educational bulletin may be of interest to extension personnel working with clientele in the programming areas of natural resources, family and consumer sciences and 4-H. 

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

Publication Date

December 8, 2020