(ORDO NEWS) — A new initiative launched Jan. 31 in Canada allows some doctors to “prescribe” patients a free annual ticket to the country’s national parks.
The patient will be required to spend a minimum of 20 minutes outdoors
According to IFLScience , a national “nature” prescription program called PaRx has partnered with Parks Canada to give doctors in Canada’s four provinces the ability to issue 100 national park passes to patients each year. The patient will be required to spend at least 2 hours per week in nature (20 minutes per day).
Interestingly, scientists are increasingly finding evidence of the work of the so-called “ecotherapy”. A large number of scientific papers have shown that outdoor spaces, nature, and fresh air are associated with improvements in a wide range of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PaRx claims that time spent in nature can improve not only mental but also physical health. For example, some studies have shown that ecotherapy helps to strengthen the human immune system.
Surprisingly, it’s not just outdoor exercise like walking or jogging that brings positive effects, but just being in nature. Laboratory experiments have shown that even looking at images of natural beauty or simply listening to nature sounds can soothe anxiety and improve a person’s moods.
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