Korean Journal of Agricultural Science (Korean J. Agric. Sci.; KJOAS)
Indexed in KCI (Korea Citation Index), Open Access, Peer Reviewed.
pISSN 2466-2402
eISSN 2466-2410

Physiological and psychological effects of nature-based outdoor activities on firefighters in South Korea



Lee SE, Kwon HG, Hwang J, Lee H, Joung D, Park BJ. 2024. Physiological and psychological effects of nature-based outdoor activities on firefighters in South Korea. Korean Journal of Agricultural Science 51:9-23.

Korean Journal of Agricultural Science (Korean J. Agric. Sci.) 2024 March, Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 9-23. https://doi.org/10.7744/kjoas.510102

Received on 06 October 2023, Revised on 24 October 2023, Accepted on 31 October 2023, Published on 1 March 2024.

Physiological and psychological effects of nature-based outdoor activities on firefighters in South Korea

Sang-Eun Lee1, Heon-Gyo Kwon2, Jisu Hwang1, Hyelim Lee1, Dawou Joung3,*, Bum-Jin Park1,*

1Department of Forest Resources, Graduate School of Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea

2National Park Research Institute, Korea National Park Service, Kangwon 26441, Korea

3Institute of Agricultural Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea

*Corresponding authors: wjoung86@cnu.ac.kr, bjpark@cnu.ac.kr


This study investigates the physiological and psychological effects of a nature-based outdoor activity program in an environment reflecting the characteristics of forest and coastal areas on 30 firefighters (average age: 40.4 ± 9.8 years) who are frequently exposed to dangerous situations. Blood pressure, pulse pressure, and heart rate variability were used as physiological measurement indicators, and the Korean versions of PANAS (positive affect and negative affect schedule), WEMWBS (Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale), and PRS (perceived restorativeness scale) were used as psychological measurement indicators. For four days and three nights, the participants experienced programs at Hallyeohaesang Nature Center and the surrounding mountains, seas, and islands, utilizing forest resources such as trekking on forest trails, walking barefoot, taking aromatic footbaths, meditating in forest oxygen domes, and lying on relaxation chairs, and programs utilizing marine resources such as taking a boat to an island, walking on forest trails with seascape views, and sailing on a yacht. Participants’ systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure decreased, and participants’ positive emotions increased and negative emotions decreased after the program. There was a statistically significant increase in mental well-being and perceived restorative environment. Through this study, it was found that nature-based outdoor activity programs based on forest and marine resources are effective in physiological and psychological stability of firefighters. It is hoped that the results of this study will be applied to other high-risk workers for PTSD, who have high stress levels, by combining forest healing and marine healing, and expanding the scope and diversity of programs in more diverse environments and conditions.


forest and marine healing, mental well-being, positive emotions, pulse pressure, systolic blood pressure


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Conflicts of interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.