DOI: 10.3390/bs14030234 ISSN: 2076-328X

Stress Control in Older People through Healing Garden Activities

Sun-Hee Kim, Joo-Bong Seo, Byung-Yeol Ryu
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • General Psychology
  • Genetics
  • Development
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

This study, conducted on a group older than 60-years-of-age, sought to verify if healing garden activities control stress in older people. The experimental group performed garden activities once a week for 12 weeks, for 2 h each day, and the control group continued their daily lives. Each group’s cumulative stress at the beginning and end, along with total power (TP), the standard deviation of the normal-to-normal interval (SDNN), and the root mean square differences of successive R–R intervals (RMSSD), were measured using u-Bio MACPA, a stress index meter. The analysis showed that the experimental group had a statistically significant decrease in cumulative stress, compared to the control group; and also that TP significantly increased, compared to the control group. The SDNN and RMSSD of the experimental group increased, and decreased in the control group, but the changes were not statistically significant. The fact that cumulative stress decreased and stress evaluation indicators increased shows that daily stress can be controlled through healing garden activities. However, due to the small number of participants in the experiment, its ability to be generalized to all elderly people is subject to a number of limitations. Nevertheless, I think it is meaningful that the finding that garden activities are significant in mediating stress in the elderly was verified using a scientific measurement instrument. Future studies should explore the healing effectiveness of gardens in other age groups.

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