Preferences for Woodland Activities and Forest Features as Predictors of Well-being after Forest Visits: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey in Slovakia

Jozef Výbošťok, Magdalena Pichlerova*, Kiki Ekiawan Lamatungga, Dhanalakshmi Tamatam, Dilek Onkal, Daniel Halaj, Viliam Pichler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The link between subjective well-being (SWB) and forest visits is increasingly driving the development and preservation of restorative forest environments in numerous countries. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the effect of people's preferences for forest patterns and activities on this connection. Here we investigated whether associations exist between the preferences for certain forest features and activities, and the SWB increase and stress reduction in response to forest visits. A nationwide digital survey was administered to a representative sample of the Slovak population. The recollection-based data obtained from one thousand respondents were analysed through agglomerative clustering and ordinal regression. The analyses revealed that improved SWB and stress reduction were associated with preferences for uneven-aged forests, forest smell, as well as recreational, but not provisioning forest activities. The respective interrelationships explained up to 20% of SWB increase and stress reduction after forest visits. The results suggest that recollection17 based study findings can be generalized for real-world forests and that forest management can contribute to the well-being of forest visitors by shaping the diversity of woodlands and their sensory experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAmbio
Early online date7 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2024

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