PURPOSE: Aging causes a decrease in muscle mass and a change in posture, which reduces motor function and makes it difficult to perform daily activities independently. As these factors are closely related to the deterioration of the quality of life, it is very important to prevent and manage negative changes in the musculoskeletal system. Forest healing is a nature therapy course that maintains and promotes health using various environmental factors in a forest. The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of the forest healing anti-aging programs on the physical health of the elderly.
METHODS: Ten elderly people participated in this study, as part of a forest healing anti-aging program for two days.
Functional fitness, muscle strength, gait function, and balance were evaluated before and after the program.
RESULTS: The number of arm curls, chair stands, and steps in a 2-min walk significantly increased (p < .05). 8-feet up & go time was significantly decreased (p < .05). Biceps brachii, quadriceps femoris, and calf muscle strength were significantly increased (p < .05). Gait velocity and cadence were significantly increased (p < .05). Step length, stride length, step time, swing time, stance time, and cycle time were significantly decreased (p < .05). Reaching distance in the lateral directions was significantly increased (p < .05).
CONCLUSION: The forest healing anti-aging program improves the physical health of the elderly.