D:\My Journal\Logo\kam logo.JPG


Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs

                                                                                           2023, Volume 7, Number 1, pages 1–17

Original scientific paper

Psychological Effects of Walking and Relaxed Sitting in Urban Greenspaces During Post-pandemic: A Case Study in Bogor City, Indonesia             

1 Mona Sari Image result for research orcid  , 2 Dr. Indung Sitti Fatimah Image result for research orcid  Scopus and ScienceDirect for Corporate R&D - BrightTALK

*3 Dr. Prita Indah Pratiwi Image result for research orcid  Scopus and ScienceDirect for Corporate R&D - BrightTALK , 4  Dr. Bambang Sulistyantara Image result for research orcid  Scopus and ScienceDirect for Corporate R&D - BrightTALK

1, 2, 3 & 4 Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agriculture, IPB University, Indonesia

1 E-mail: monasari@apps.ipb.ac.id  , 2 E-mail: indung_fatimah@apps.ipb.ac.id

3 E-mail: pritaindahpratiwi@apps.ipb.ac.id , 4 E-mail: bambang_sulistyantara@apps.ipb.ac.id





Article History:

Received: 15 October 2022

Revised: 5 January 2023

Accepted: 20 January 2023

Available online: 25 February  2023




Urban Green Spaces,


Physical Activity,

Psychological Effect.



The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world order from the beginning of 2020 to the end of 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on changes in healthy living practices, such as decreased physical exercise and increased stress, compromising psychological well-being. The psychological impacts of walking and relaxing in urban green spaces on IPB University students are investigated in this study. Bogor City Alun-Alun, Sempur Park, and Heulang Park were used for the experiment. Participants completed 15 minutes of walking and relaxed sitting before and after the experiment, and the psychological impacts were assessed using Profiles of Mood States (POMS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and WHO Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) before and after the experiment. The results indicate that physical activity improves psychological wellness. These findings give scientific evidence for the psychologically relaxing effects of walking and relaxed sitting, as well as recommendations to support the development and construction of therapeutic urban green spaces.


This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.




Copyright © 2023 by the author(s).


Contribution to the field statement

- This paper provides evidence for the effect of walking and relaxed sitting on psychological effects.

- Improving psychological health is urgently needed for young adult students in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

- The positive effect of walking and sitting relaxed activities can improve psychological health in park users (IPB University students).

This paper suggests further studies to improve quality of life, stressing that further research could focus more on regular physical activity, walking and sitting. In addition, these findings suggest a series of recommendations that can assist in designing urban greenspaces that can enhance the psychological effects of their users.


*Corresponding Author: 

Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agriculture, IPB University, Indonesia



How to cite this article:

Sari, M., Fatimah, I. S., Pratiwi, P. I., and Sulistyantara, B. (2023). Psychological Effects of Walking and Relaxed Sitting in Urban Greenspaces During Post-pandemic: A Case Study in Bogor City, Indonesia. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 7(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2023.v7n1-1

  1. Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for citizens all around the world. The pandemic has a direct impact on economic, social, and other elements of life, such as health (Chaplyuk et al., 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the psychological health of young adults, such as depression, stress, and anxiety (Taha et al., 2014), as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (Shultz et al., 2015). Adolescent mental health can be impacted by social and physical restrictions, as well as school closures for young adults. According to the godataipb.org data source: 44.5% of students experienced fatigue and 55.2% lost interest in the survey 'Career Awareness and Mental Health of IPB University Students in the Pandemic Period with 299 respondents, active undergraduate and vocational students of IPB University on 24-30 July 2020. A walk, according to 165 people, is an effective way to improve one's mood. Young people can have an impact on the development and promotion of mental health and well-being (MHWB) programs (Raviola et al., 2019).

Lower rates of depression are connected with increased access to green open spaces, physical activity, and mental health. Green open spaces improve mental health by increasing physical exercise, providing a social space for residents, fostering social relationships, and relieving stress and mental fatigue (Cohen-Cline et al., 2015). To establish a therapeutic landscape, physical, social, symbolic, and experiential spaces must be developed (Völker & Kistemann, 2015). Previous studies have shown that exposure to natural stimuli in green spaces through physical activity or relaxation may have a psychological impact on daily routines  (Li, 2010).  Forest bathing is one method of natural therapy that can be used. Forest bathing is a way to enjoy the forest by walking around and enjoying everything it has to offer. This natural and low-cost activity is believed to relieve stress-related disorders by allowing plants to relax physiologically (Tsunetsugu et al., 2009).

Several studies on the physiological and psychological relaxing effects of walking and exploring urban parks and forests on young adults have been conducted. Physiological studies have shown that park and forest environments reduce heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing parasympathetic nervous activity (Park et al., 2009). Furthermore, psychological studies have shown benefits in increasing subjective evaluations of feeling comfortable, natural, relaxed, strong, serene, and rejuvenated  (Park et al., 2009), reducing negative moods (e.g., tension, anger, fatigue, depression, confusion), and anxiety states (Tsunetsugu et al., 2013). Yu et al. (2017) reported that a brief two-hour walk in the forest reduced pulse rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and negative emotions (e.g., anger, confusion, depression, tension, fatigue), anxiety, and raised emotion positively.

Therapeutic garden planning and design must focus on meeting the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of human users. In gardening, selection and meticulous arrangement of garden elements are required so that a park can reach functional and aesthetic value. Therapy rooms in open settings in Indonesia typically simply feature a contemplation walk; a therapeutic garden that meets the criteria would be more beneficial. The function of therapeutic parks should be evaluated in city parks that have been established so that parks can become public health therapy areas. Therapeutic gardens have unique aesthetic and functional values that must be considered when designing them. Existing facilities in Indonesian urban parks should be evaluated because planning is still inadequate, such as a lack of aromatic plants that stimulate the sense of smell, a lack of noise-reducing plants to reduce disturbance, and a lack of infrastructure with track widths and lengths that meet the needs of visitors of all ages (Massie et al., 2020). The purpose of this study is to offer such evidence for use in landscape planning guidelines to assist therapeutic urban greenspaces in Indonesia. This study investigates the effects of walking and relaxed sitting on psychological wellness. Our study hypothesizes that walking and relaxed sitting in urban greenspaces can improve psychological impacts.







  1. Materials and Methods

2.1  Experiment Sites

The experiment was conducted from August to September 2022 in Bogor City, Indonesia, at Bogor City Alun-Alun, Sempur Park, and Heulang Park (Figure 1). The three parks were chosen because (1) they are public urban greenspaces that anyone can access without paying an entry fee; (2) they are located in the city centre; (3) there is a walking and relaxation therapy area such as a shady area, and there is a jogging track area; and (4) the tree growth rate is mature enough to provide shade (Pratiwi et al., 2022). This study used Bogor City as a case study since the extent of urban greenspaces in Bogor City already surpasses the standards stated by Law no. 26 of 2007 concerning spatial planning, with the area of green open space in Bogor City exceeding the minimum figure of 30% of the city's area. Despite having enough green open spaces in Bogor City, many Bogor City citizens suffer from psychological health issues. Bogor City Alun-Alun is 1.7 hectares in size, featuring a 500 m jogging track. Sempur Park includes a 973-meter-long running track with an average width of 1.5 meters, whereas Heulang Park has a 2.8-hectare space. Alun-Alun is Indonesia's one-of-a-kind historic open space (Kohori et al., 2019). The following criteria are applied to identify pedestrian paths: (1) a minimum length of 400 m one way; (2) a level slope; and (3) the presence of trees along the path. While the factors for selecting seats include (1) security; (2) a flat slope; and (3) the presence of shade, such as a big tree, which leads to a nice view  (Pratiwi et al., 2020).


C:\Users\Asus-pc\Downloads\Penelitian Mona\alun2.jpgC:\Users\Asus-pc\Downloads\Penelitian Mona\taman sempur.jpgC:\Users\Asus-pc\Downloads\Penelitian Mona\taman heulang.jpg

AB     C

Figure 1. Experiment location. (A) Bogor City Alun-Alun. (B) Sempur Park. (C) Heulang Park

                      Note: The yellow line is the walking track, and the red circle is the relaxed sitting point. 


The three parks have distinct vegetation cover characteristics, such as low vegetation cover in Bogor City Alun-Alun due to its recent revitalization in 2021 and high vegetation cover in Heulang Park and Sempur Park (Figure 2). There are differences in terms of climatic components (Table 1).