"Prescriptions" for nature
Yes, Cornell Health clinicians and mental health providers really do "prescribe nature" to students!
Why? Research shows that time spent in nature is good for your overall health and well-being. In fact, time spent in nature has been shown to:
- Improve your cognitive ability, specifically by boosting your ability to concentrate and increasing your attention span
- Positively benefit your mood and improve your sense of overall happiness
- Reduce feelings of and physiological responses to stress
- Increase your number of social connections and the quality of your social relationships
- Boost your physical health and well-being
Recently, the evidence-based benefits of nature have received attention from medical and mental health communities in the U.S. and abroad, with a growing number of providers suggesting that their patients spend time in nature as a sort of "nature prescription."
About Nature Rx @Cornell
The campus-wide Nature Rx @Cornell initiative is a collaboration between numerous people and departments at Cornell. Collaborators have a shared interest in the ways in which the natural beauty of our campus can positively impact the mental health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff.
Nature Rx consists of three components:
- An oversight committee led by faculty, staff, and student members who manage the website that spotlights natural places on and near campus
- A student organization that leads weekly walks and other events designed to enable and encourage students to get out in nature
- The clinical application of Nature Rx by medical and mental health providers at Cornell Health
Cornell's Nature Rx program is built on a model first developed through a partnership between a group of Washington D.C. physicians and the National Park Service, called Park Rx America. Prescribing nature during the routine delivery of healthcare has now been introduced by physicians in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.