Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)
Physician Assistant Studies
This research paper outlines the salubrious effects of exposure to green spaces and explores how healthcare providers in urban areas can leverage the benefits of green spaces to combat poor health outcomes from the chronic stress of urbanicity, particularly in disadvantaged populations. Focusing on the metropolitan area of Minnesota, this study acknowledges existing barriers and constraints of populations experiencing health inequities while analyzing data on green space accessibility and seeking solutions for those communities, particularly BIPOC and low-income. This paper synthesizes evidence from various studies that establish the positive associations between health and exposure to green spaces, which can also foster social cohesion and environmental sustainability. While recognizing the need for future research, providers have been encouraged to educate patients on the benefits of nature. Based on promising outcomes and ongoing studies, healthcare providers can incorporate nature prescriptions into patient care plans. Collaboration with community can further increase access to green spaces, fostering social support and community wellbeing. By integrating green spaces into cities and promoting equitable access, healthcare providers can contribute to holistic well-being, particularly among marginalized communities. While acknowledging the need for more research and addressing various limitations, this paper underscores the interconnectedness of humans with nature and highlights the potential of urban green spaces to foster social and environmental justice and create an ecologically sustainable future.
Snyder, Alyssa K., "Better Nature: How nature improves our health and how we can use nature to do better" (2023). Theses and Graduate Projects. 1559.