10 Health Problems That The Outdoors Can Help Prevent And Treat

Should your doctor tell you to “take a hike,” you may want to listen. With more and more scientific studies uncovering different health benefits from spending time outdoors, is the healthcare industry not fully appreciating ways of preventing and treating disease?

During an October 2016, White House Roundtable session entitled “Health Benefits of Time Outdoors,” Michael Suk, M.D., Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Geisinger Health System and a member of the National Advisory Board at the National Park Service, mentioned the possibility of doctors writing prescriptions for national parks…as in, “Take a trip to a national park once a week and see me in six months.”

How many medication prescriptions could eventually be replaced by prescriptions for hiking, biking, climbing and other outdoors activities?

Unless someone is pulling you around in a wheelbarrow, being outdoors forces you to move your body more. Think about how much of your time indoors is spent remaining relatively motionless, such as sitting in front of a computer or in a meeting, texting on the toilet or staring at the television.

Being outdoors in many ways forces you to be more active. Trails make you hike. Hills and mountains make you climb them. Bigfoot makes you run. A number of studies have shown that access to the outdoors can significantly increase physical activity levels.

Well, here are 10 health problems that time outdoors may help prevent or treat:


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