An an outdoor fanatic, it has long been my mantra that “there’s an outdoor activity for everyone, and everyone should get outdoors.” Now it seems that health care systems, researchers and the National Park Service have also picked up that motto and are promoting outdoor activity for heath, wellness and employee productivity.
A 2011 health initiative called “Healthy Parks, Healthy People,” which resulted from a forum held by the National Park Service, includes emphasizing healthy lifestyles and increasing awareness of how being in nature is beneficial to our well-being. The NPS is re-thinking its concessions offerings to include healthier choices, and in Indiana, at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the NPS is partnering with a local healthcare system in providing “park prescriptions.” Oh please, please Doc! I need a prescription for a year on the Appalachian Trail!!!
Wise employers also know that movement and being in the outdoors counteracts lethargy and increases productivity. A recent study found that even just looking at pictures of the outdoors improved mood and energy levels! Surround your work space with photos of your outdoor adventures for a boost of your own.
Read about the Indiana Dunes program.
And then go find your place in the sun!