A recent article out of Fast Company revealed that select doctors through Unity Health Care are actually prescribing walks in the park to their patients. The movement is called Park RX and is taking Washington, D.C. by storm — a healthy storm that is.

While many receive medication to aid in numerous health issues Dr. Robert Zarr, who is leading this innovative practice, believes this should change. According to Health It, “At its core, Park RX fosters a unique patient-provider relationship where providers talk with patients about ‘how’ to get on an exercise routine and effectively use their neighborhood parks to do fun physical activities most appealing to them.”

And since this is quite different from how our current society deals with health problems, you can imagine it has received a reaction.

Fast Company states, “Since launching Park RX last July, 30 doctors at Unity Health Care have signed up to the program, issuing about 550 prescriptions. Follow-up interviews show an average increase of 22 minutes of activity per week across 400 kids.” And with the weather shaping up as it has lately (despite some rain), there’s no better time to hit the Boston-area parks.

From the Rose Kennedy Greenway to Waterfront Park, Boston is thriving with green spaces perfect for an afternoon walk or evening jog. And according to Zarr’s personal blog, the relationship between our health and nature is closely related.

Because our health is intimately linked to the health of our environment, we can’t have one without the other. In order to protect and conserve the environment, we must first value it. In order to value it, we must know it, and in order to know it we must touch, smell, breathe, and experience Nature. By getting people outside in Nature, I find that much more happens than weight reduction, lower heart rate, and a sense of focus and well-being.

This is certainly an RX I can get behind — especially if it involves a swing set and jungle gym.


Image via Rick Harris