Feb 19, 2016 | By

Prescription Strength Nature

In January, we reported on research at Stanford and Berkeley that verifies what we already know – there are physiological and psychological benefits from spending time in nature. This topic has gotten excellent humorous treatment in the youtube series Nature Rx. With more than 2.5 million viewers, Nature Rx offers brilliant and effective satire directed at the omnipresent medical ads with hyper-sentimental messages in staged nature settings. Yet its message is fundamentally positive – experience in nature is an excellent remedy for what some commenters refer to as “nature deficit disorder” – the stress and anxiety we experience in out modern, human, and largely artificial world.

The idea of actually prescribing nature may now be taking hold, as reported in Children and Nature. With inspiration from The Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, medical centers in northern Oregon will soon give prescriptions, known as Rx: 4 Play. With a doctor’s permission, people will get an Oregon Coast Pass good for one year of free parking at state and national parks on the North Coast.

Imagine the long term health benefits and reduced medical costs that would result from a nationwide movement to increase our collective experience of nature.

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