The Nature Prescription – 5 Proven Health Benefits of Nature

The Nature Prescription - 5 Proven Health Benefits of Nature

It’s the perfect time of year to submerge yourself in the outdoors; to feel the sun on your face and take in the scents of trees, grass, and flowers. Studies show that being out in nature has a positive effect on physical and mental health, and it’s why more and more doctors look at nature as medication and why the next prescription you may receive is one that prescribes 20 minutes of green space a day.

The OCO, in partnership with Dr. Melissa Lem, Physician and Director of Park Prescription for BC Parks Foundation, recently delivered this educational webinar on the Nature Prescription.

Being outdoors leaves us with a sense of feeling better but did you know that feeling is backed by science? In fact, the evidence says that people report significantly better health and well-being after spending just two hours in nature per week, 20 min at a time, and that doesn’t have to include intense exercise. Sitting on a park bench will do.

What the evidence says:

  1. 15 minutes of sitting in nature lowers your cortisol level and heart rate
  2. Nature is a proven brain-power booster and will help with focus
  3. Breathing in the scent of trees boosts immune function
  4. Getting active in nature improves your blood pressure, even more than if you exercise on a city street
  5. 20 minutes of walking in the park can improve ADHD symptoms
  6. Being outdoors can improve bone density
  7. Spending time in nature can improve work satisfaction
  8. Including outdoor time in your day can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, as well as diabetes and heart disease.

Ways to incorporate more green space in your day:

  1. Eat your lunch outside
  2. Take that coffee to go and head to a park
  3. Meet a friend and go for a stroll
  4. Leave your car at home if you can
  5. Schedule the time in your calendar

Watch the full webinar here.

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