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(15,786 posts)
6. Will Your Next Prescription Be 20 Minutes of Nature a Day?
Thu Apr 11, 2024, 02:10 PM
Apr 11
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What if a walk in a green environment could reshape brains, recalibrate sense of time, and stave off mental health conditions? If the research trends are true, you might soon find yourself writing prescriptions of 20 minutes of nature per day.

Evidence for the health benefits of exposure to green spaces, like parks, open spaces, gardens, outdoor gyms, and woodland trails, has been mostly interventional and observational, but that has not stopped global recognition that these exposures are important.

In the wake of the pandemic, the British government allocated more than £5 million to pandemic recovery efforts that specifically involved green spaces. Since then, it has committed even more funding toward an expansive social prescribing program that connects patients to "link workers" who determine personal care needs and facilitate community and volunteer-based interventions. These can include group walking and volunteering to help out in community gardens or conservation efforts. Similar green programs can also be found in Japan, where shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) was recently adopted as a national health strategy, and in the US and Canada.

"Disconnection from nature is a major part of the health problems that we have on this planet," said William Bird, a UK-based general practitioner, green prescriber, and CEO of Intelligent Health, which is geared toward building healthy, active, and connected communities. Bird received the prestigious Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010 for services to physical activity and health.

"Our brains are designed to connect to nature…and we haven't lost that instinct," he explained. "Once we are with birdsong and water flowing and greenery, cortisol levels drop, our central vagus nerve improves, our fight and flight [response] disappears, and we start to be more receptive to other people."
Good advice! Easterncedar Apr 11 #1
It is not good advice. I was hiking on Sunday. I stepped in fox poop. 3Hotdogs Apr 11 #8
Fox poop cilla4progress Apr 12 #27
I volunteer in the local (N.J.) swamp. There is fox poop, raccoon poop, muskrat poop and Great Blue Heron poop. 3Hotdogs Apr 12 #41
Cool! cilla4progress Apr 12 #43
Now that sounds like the beginning of a good story. 3Hotdogs Apr 12 #44
I keep stressing to people the moniss Apr 11 #2
Yes! cilla4progress Apr 11 #3
It's raining 🌧 today. Emile Apr 11 #4
I love cilla4progress Apr 11 #5
Will Your Next Prescription Be 20 Minutes of Nature a Day? erronis Apr 11 #6
Yes! cilla4progress Apr 11 #7
Absolutely. And it can just be sitting in a quiet space and listening. erronis Apr 11 #9
Wonderful - cilla4progress Apr 11 #10
I always recommend Green Therapy! 🌳🌷 electric_blue68 Apr 12 #30
I can hear nature trying to enter through our skylight. SleeplessinSoCal Apr 11 #11
Nature can be wonderful, beautiful. But it also gives us our problems such as aging and diseases. erronis Apr 11 #13
Where I live, there's this thing called weather that doesn't always cooperate. ShazzieB Apr 11 #12
Well, cilla4progress Apr 11 #14
Absolutely! ShazzieB Apr 11 #15
Wonderful! cilla4progress Apr 11 #17
Did that yesterday Warpy Apr 11 #16
I've always been intrigued with NM, cilla4progress Apr 11 #18
The wanderlust years? Warpy Apr 11 #19
It really is a nice state. Elessar Zappa Apr 12 #21
Well, I love Wentachee and that area GenThePerservering Apr 12 #20
Glad you love it here! cilla4progress Apr 12 #23
I love New Mexico Bayard Apr 12 #32
I traveled through NM to get to AZ, Flagstaff... electric_blue68 Apr 12 #33
I love NM too - grew up back east womanofthehills Apr 12 #42
Sounds beautiful. electric_blue68 Apr 13 #45
I have a plot in the community garden pfitz59 Apr 12 #22
Sweet and salty here. mentalsolstice Apr 12 #24
Ecstatic - cilla4progress Apr 12 #25
Sounds very relaxing. The first time I ever row boated was ... electric_blue68 Apr 12 #35
Great idea, and good suggestion wendyb-NC Apr 12 #26
As though everything's just fine, nothin to see here. Think. Again. Apr 12 #28
Er... Why would you say this? ... electric_blue68 Apr 12 #34
I absolutely agree with you about the positive benefits... Think. Again. Apr 12 #36
Not mutually exclusive cilla4progress Apr 12 #37
So sorry you were seriously threatened! How hideous! That certainly could give you... electric_blue68 Apr 12 #38
I appreciate your words, and you're right... Think. Again. Apr 12 #40
We have a flood watch. Voltaire2 Apr 12 #29
Us too, It has been raining for 3 days. debm55 Apr 12 #31
Yikes, good luck! electric_blue68 Apr 12 #39
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