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Visits to city parks lead to less prescription drug use

Visits to city parks lead to less prescription drug use


Evidence is rapidly accumulating that most people need time spent in nature to be healthy. Physically When MentallyAlthough causality cannot be proven, Finnish research suggests that improved health in people who use nature may cover a wide range of conditions, at least based on the drugs they consume. Studies suggest that regular park visitors use less medication for depression and high blood pressure, as well as anxiety, insomnia and even asthma.

The evidence of natural health benefits has become so strong that doctors in four Canadian provinces are now allowed to give the drug to their patients. Complimentary ticket to the national park as a treatment. Nonetheless, our knowledge of the conditions under which “ecotherapy” works and how to establish optimal dosages is sketchy at best.

To answer these questions, the Finnish Academy and the Ministry of the Environment have funded a study, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, looking at how exposure in parks affects prescription drug use.

The study used 16,000 responses from residents of Helsinki and neighboring cities of Vantaa and Espoo in 2015-16 surveyed about their relationship with parks and waterways. The same survey also asked about the use of various prescription drugs.

contrary to some past research, proximity to nature alone, such as seeing greenery from the house, did not affect prescription drug use. Nor did the area of ​​the area given to the park, which has been most frequently studied in previous studies of this species, changed. However, there was a strong association between how often respondents visited parks and their drug use.

People who reported going to the park three to four times a week were 33% less likely to use antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications than those who rarely went. He was 36% less likely to use blood pressure medication in the same group. The study also included a category of people who visited the park five or more times a week, but there was no further reduction in drug use among the most frequent park-goers.

The study complements recently published research that found Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease develop more slowly People who spend a lot of time in nature.

One disease that some studies show is exacerbated by exposure to nature is asthma. However, frequent park visitors were 26% less likely to use asthma medications. Again, people prone to asthma may avoid forest bathing, especially in the spring.

As pointed out by the Asthma Association, the direction of causation is important. Will people need less medicine because they spend time in nature? Or will people who are healthy enough on less medicine be better able to visit their local parks? Is there a third factor, such as exercise, that causes both measurements?

The authors admit that they cannot answer that.We should expect an assessment of interventions like the aforementioned Canada PaRx Trial can. Nevertheless, the authors provided evidence that the association held up after adjusting for factors such as socioeconomic status, ruling out several possible explanations.

thesis is Occupational Environmental Medicine.




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