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What Does One Doctor Prescribe for Good Health? Fresh Air

Will doctors some day write prescriptions for outdoor activity as a treatment for boosting a patient's health? At least one doctor is already doing so.

A Nov. 29 New York Times article by health writer Jane Brody identifies Dr. Daphne Miller, affiliated with the University of California, as an advocate of turning public lands (national, state and local parks, for example) into public health resources. Why write a prescription for being outdoors? Indoor-habituated people need basic guidance, Miller says. "They don’t know what to do when they get there," Miller told Brody. It's an interesting read; check it out.

Meanwhile, how does the outdoors factor into your own health-maintenance plan? What's the healthiest outdoor activity you pursue? Personally, I estimate I have logged over 11,000 trail miles as a lifelong hiker/backpacker and consider trail-tromping the healthiest thing I've ever done, and all the fun I've had along the way is a total bonus. 

I routinely nudge my cousins to come take a hike with me some day, just to introduce them to something new and active. If you know some people who are a little too fond of the indoors, what sort of outdoor prescription would you write for them?

Posted on at 12:22 PM

Tagged: Outdoors, health and perscriptions

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Thanks for pointing out this article. A dose of outdoors a day keeps the doctor away. It's unfortunate that some people need a prescription.

As a scoutmaster I've known a few boys who preferred the indoor, sit-down, activities (e.g., the cinematography merit badge). Getting them out was a challenge. In their first exposure to the outdoors you have to minimize fatigue and pain (i.e., car camping and day hikes, nice weather) and maximize the good stuff (peaks, waterfalls, fire, candy, s'mores).

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