Doctors Can Now Prescribe Nature

A walk in the park may be just what the doctor ordered, and now that nature has officially been recognized as a promising and effective approach to health care, your doctor might be able to write you a prescription for it. Prescribing time in parks and green spaces is now used as a way of treating a range of conditions, including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Nationally, there are two Park Rx Programs: Park Rx America and Walk With a Doc. State by state, the movement towards developing a more interactive and meaningful relationship with nature for one’s health and well-being is growing. In Vermont, for example, doctors can prescribe free park passes to patients to allow them to spend time outdoors, exercise, relax and de-stress. Studies have shown that Americans spend 87% of their time indoors and an additional 6% in an enclosed vehicle. That’s a shocking 93% of our lives spent outdoors. In total, there are over 80 local Park Ex Programs, and the number is growing. The map below shows the areas that currently provide Park Rx.

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