Parks and Docs...Partners in the Making
"Health data shows that as little as 30 minutes of walking a day cuts the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease in half, lowers the likelihood of diabetes by 60 percent, limits colon cancer by 31 percent for women and reduces risk of dementia, heart disease, depression, osteoporosis, glaucoma and catching a cold." (http://everybodywalk.org/walking-steps-up-as-a-vital-sign/)
"Building on advances in neuroscience and psychology, they’ve begun to quantify what once seemed divine and mysterious. These measurements—of everything from stress hormones to heart rate to brain waves to protein markers—indicate that when we spend time in green space, “there is something profound going on,” as Strayer puts it."(http://bit.ly/1PVfGhj)
It seems like I can't go a day without reading yet another article about the health benefits of walking or the health benefits of spending time outdoors. And yet I also read that only 10% of teens spend anytime outside on any given day. (1) Or that they are instead spending up to 9 hours a day staring at a screen. (2)
Imagine what could happen if we got Spokane outside for an extra 30 minutes a day for a walk in a park.
Health would increase.
Stress would decrease.
Concentration would increase.
Frustration would decrease.
It is just that reason that we've begun to work with the Spokane Regional Health District and the local park departments to create a partnership that pairs health and parks in a way that drives us toward a healthier future. Other communities are doing it - Frederick County Parks and Rec in Maryland runs a Docs in the Park program that has been built specifically to help doctors get their patients healthy while using the community's best asset - their park system. (http://www.recreater.com/323/Docs-in-the-Park)
Just imagine the possibilities here...we aren't just imaging, we're working to make it happen.