Prescribers

Connect to the evidence. Connect to nature.

Why should I prescribe nature?

1. It's easy and effective.

Health-care providers are always looking for simple, practical interventions they can make to improve their patients’ lives. The beauty of PaRx is that almost anyone can increase the time they spend in nature, no matter what their physical abilities are or where they live. A growing body of research suggests that spending time in nature has a wide range of positive effects on human health, from reduced chronic disease to improved birth outcomes—over and above the benefits of exercise. Learn more about the health benefits of nature here.

2. Writing it down works better.

Studies suggest that written prescriptions are better received than oral advice in motivating patients to make a change.

3. Patients trust their health-care providers.

Surveys reveal that doctors and nurses consistently rank among the most trusted professionals in the country. When we speak, people listen.

4. Prescribing nature is good for the earth.

Research shows that people who are more connected to nature do more to protect it. So not only are you improving your patients’ health, but you’re also doing your part for the planet.

Register for PaRx to learn even more about our incentives for health-care providers and access exclusive resources.

Tips for creating a nature habit

1. How much should I prescribe?

2 hours a week, 20+ minutes at a time. Research shows that people who spend at least 2 hours per week in nature report significantly better health and wellbeing. When it comes to the mental-health benefits of nature, science suggests that the most efficient drop in cortisol happens between the 20-to-30-minute mark. Hence our 20-minute rule.

2. What counts as nature time?

Health benefits start to add up whenever patients feel like they've had meaningful contact with nature, whether it be sitting on a park bench or hiking up a mountain peak. This makes the process of setting green-time goals patient-centred and self-directed.

3. Who can participate in PaRx?

Any licensed health-care provider, from nurses to physicians to physiotherapists, can prescribe nature through our program.

5 simple steps for an effective prescription:

1

Make nature time the fourth pillar of health.
Whenever you do lifestyle counselling around diet, exercise and sleep habits, remember to add nature time as a recommendation.

2

Personalize it.
• Make it place-based: map their home address or work place and point them to walkable, bikeable or transit-accessible green spaces nearby.
• Recommend green tweaks to their regular routine: plan a visit with family in a park, or a cardio workout on a trail.
• Inform them with evidence.
• Recognize and reduce barriers. Remember that almost anyone can increase the time they spend in nature, no matter what their physical abilities are or where they live.

3

Schedule it.
Just like a doctor's appointment or coffee date, patients are more likely to stick to a commitment when they write it down.

4

Follow it up.
Check in on your patient's progress the next appointment after you prescribe it.

5

Be the change.
Patients who see and hear evidence about their health-care providers putting their nature recommendations into action are more motivated to change their behaviours.

Evidence-Based Patient Handouts

For your convenience, we've gathered all our printable handouts here.

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Want to start prescribing or enjoying the health benefits of nature? Click Get Started.