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Doctors Dish Out Outdoor Time 

10 March 2020

Doctors are now prescribing outdoor time to patients instead of medicine.

Healthcare officials in some areas of the UK are prescribing outdoor time rather than drugs to patients suffering from underlying mental health conditions. This is in order to lower levels of depression and Alzheimer’s disease. This initiative is called ‘green health prescriptions’ and is being used to boost the health and wellbeing of patients. The NHS have explained that there is a strong connection to the outdoors and a patient’s physical and mental health. Currently doctors are saying you should be outside for at least 20 mins per day doing nature therapy (techniques and treatments to improve mental health that is to do with nature). Scientist have proven that being outside can have effects such as improving short term memory, boosting mental energy, sharpening thinking and creativity and restores focus.

This is also helped by an increasing popularity of Forest Schools in the UK.  Jenny from Under the Canopy Forest School said that outdoor learning and Forest School can “improve confidence and physical skills” and that “it develops independence, self-esteem and emotional resilience.” Along with being near nature.

Reports show that trees and nature are good for our social and mental wellbeing so being near trees is great for wellbeing.

We spoke to Paulo Menezes, Head of Disease Control in São Paulo, about this issue. For the full interview, please follow this link: Paulo Menezes Interview

By Felix C and Nayan M

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