Warm Congratulations to John Gathright, founder of Tree Climbing Japan, for the publication of the first scientific paper detailing results of research about recreational tree climbing. This is a BIG DEAL!! It was published in the Science Direct: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening journal. We're looking forward to reading more from John in the future!
A little tough for non-scientists to quickly grasp major nervous system components and the various acronyms. Here are links to some Wikipedia entries to help understand the study results:
Autonomic Nervous System - ANS
Runs all of our body systems not under concious control. We can can modify some ANS controlled functions (like breathing) but when we relinquish conscious control ANS keeps on ticking.
Sympathetic Nervous System - [url=http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system]SNS[/url]
Commonly referred to as fight or flight response.
Parasympathetic Nervous System - PNS
Commonly referred to as rest and digest response.
That's an interesting project. No doubt, there was a difference between tower and tree climbing.
To me, the more important issue would be, why? What is the difference to the climber?
I wonder if similar tests were done using extension ladders instead of the tower what the results would be.
We all agree...I think...that climbing trees is much different than any other climbing. Being surrounded by a natural environment has to have an effect. Being surrounded by tree branches makes it more comfortable than climbing a concrete tower.
These questions are for the next research project
I grabbed the paragraph below from a TCI post I put up in 2004, (Why Tree Climbing is Not Mainstream). It inadvertently is in full agreement with the findings in the research paper.
Originally posted by Electrojake
In my line of work I can hang off a hundred foot tower over energized power lines and be little more than annoyed with having to climb, yet when Iâ€™m up in a tree, even at a mere 30 feet, I cant help but feel wonderful. (so why is that?)
If you ask me, the answer is simple. . .
Towers are work and trees are fun. Even tree removals are â€œfunâ€ as compared to tower work. IMHO. -Ej-
Very Interesting research by TC-Japan. I have experienced similar positive beneficial results on my health and particularly improvements in my Rheumatoid Arthritis ( RH) from my last 4 years of climbing. Decrease in inflamation, more flexibility, better coordination and improvement in mood and positive feelings of well being. I realize that this is empiric in nature and it is hard to test or prove but that is my story and sticking to it! It helps me justify the cost of gear for medical reasons! he, he, he.