I’m passionate about the intersection of forests and human health. My work explores precision health, focusing on optimizing experiences for individuals based on personal preferences and environmental conditions. Recently, I have expanded my interest to include virtual immersive experiences, considering factors such as accessibility and extreme weather events.
In my doctoral work, I led a randomized cross-over trial with repeated measures design to assess the efficacy of guided forest bathing and self-guided forest bathing treatments in Metro Vancouver. This study holds particular relevance given British Columbia’s unique context. With the importance of its forests and the challenges of urbanization and limited green spaces, understanding how forest bathing can benefit public health is crucial. My research contributes valuable insights into leveraging and supporting natural environments for well-being in a rapidly changing environment.
Virtual Therapeutic Landscapes (Forest Bathing App)
Inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, this project serves as a technological extension of a clinical trial conducted in Vancouver parks. We recognized that certain participants couldn’t engage in in-person forest bathing due to mobility challenges, transportation issues, or health concerns.
Our goal is to pilot immersive audio-visual experiences, making forest bathing more accessible. By leveraging existing projects like the Stanley Park Geography VR Field Trip and 360 Videos tour of Vancouver, we aim to democratize the restorative benefits of forest bathing to those unable to participate in traditional settings.
Silent Trails: A Vision for Acoustically Protected Trails
Another facet of my research aims to preserve the sanctity of natural soundscapes, an often-overlooked component of well-being.
The rise in urban noise pollution negatively impacts both human mental health and natural habitats. Drawing inspiration from Taiwan’s first certified quiet park and trail, this project aims to create acoustically protected trails.
We propose transforming existing park trails into silent zones through noise reduction measures and visitor guidelines. Our ongoing monitoring and evaluation aim to understand how these quiet spaces can enhance human and wildlife well-being.