Nature prescriptions, recommended by doctors as a form of therapy, have been found to provide both physical and mental health benefits, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of 28 studies conducted by researchers from UNSW Sydney. The studies showed that spending time in nature, including contact with trees, can reduce blood pressure, lower depression and anxiety scores, and increase daily physical activity. Nature prescriptions are emerging as a supplement to standard medical care, with programs being implemented in the UK and Canada. In Australia, there is growing public interest in nature prescriptions, but more research is needed to understand how they could be implemented in the local context, including the optimal duration, content, delivery, and by whom.
Photo Credit: Robert Lukeman