Just because fall is starting to set in doesn’t mean we all need to hunker down indoors.  This article excerpt from A World of Health is a great snippet to give you a sense of what the course is like.  Enjoy!

Excerpt from “Leave No Child Inside” by Richard Louv

The future of children in nature has profound implications not only for the conservation of land but also for the direction of the environmental movement. If society embraces something as simple as the health benefits of nature experiences for children, it may begin to re-evaluate the worth of “the environment.” While public-health experts have traditionally associated environmental health with the absence of toxic pollution, the definition fails to account for an equally valid consideration: how the environment can improve human health. Seen through that doorway, nature isn’t a problem, it’s the solution: environmentalism is essential to our own well-being.

Howard Frumkin, director of the National Center for Environmental Health, points out that future research about the positive health effects of nature should be conducted in collaboration with architects, urban planners, park designers, and landscape architects. “Perhaps we will advise patients to take a few days in the country, to spend time gardening,” he wrote in a 2001 American Journal of Preventive Medicine article, “or [we will] build hospitals in scenic locations, or plant gardens in rehabilitation centers. Perhaps the . . . organizations that pay for health care will come to fund such interventions, especially if they prove to rival pharmaceuticals in cost and efficacy.” …

  1. Has a physician ever prescribed “time in nature” to you?  How would you react if she/he did?
  2. Given that health care in the U.S. is a profitable business, what will need to happen for doctors to start prescribing “a few days in the country” or in the garden?
  3. Do you view spending time in nature as integral to your health and well-being?

What are your thoughts?  Feel free to post your comments here!

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