Physicians aim to improve health conditions by “prescribing” nature and exercise

June 11,2021  Pueblo, CO – The Pueblo County Medical Society has launched Nature Scripts, a community engagement project developed in collaboration with Park Rx America, Pueblo Department of Health and Environment, and Pueblo Parks and Recreation, through which physicians and other prescribing providers can “prescribe” nature and exercise to patients.

The aim of the program is to lower rates of concerning health conditions that can be exacerbated by inactivity such as obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. The stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and compounded stress from the pandemic only worsened the health of the community.

According to the Nature Connection Guide, U. S. doctors in 34 states are prescribing nature due to its promising effects of treating a range of conditions including high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. Nature Scripts is a Pueblo, Colorado, Rx program that has the potential to increase Puebloans appreciation of the many medical benefits of nature and exercise and improve health outcomes locally. 

The launch event today, Friday, June 11, included opening remarks from Robert Zarr, MD, MPH, founder of Park Rx America, and a keynote talk by project champion Brad Roberts, MD, a PCMS board member and an emergency room physician in Pueblo. Other stakeholders also made remarks: Alexis Romero of the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, Amanda Cesar of Pueblo Parks and Recreation, Patty Kester of the Nature Center, and Eileen Dennis of Pueblo Tripleaim.

To view the many parks and outdoor spaces in Pueblo and for more information about Nature Scripts, visit www.naturescripts.us.

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