A Miracle Health Elixir that’s Big, Bright and Green


Public health professionals know about a solution that can promote weight loss, help you feel more energetic, prevent obesity in children, reduce stress, reduce recovery time after surgery, prevent low birth weight, and much more.

If they put it in a bottle, you’d be asking your doctor about it.

But this is a solution that won’t fit in any bottle; it’s accessible parks, green space and other safe outdoor recreation areas.

Dr. Yvonne Michael, an associate professor in Drexel’s School of Public Health, rounds out this week’s series of blog posts for National Public Health Week with a discussion of the importance of parks and green spaces, especially in cities, to promote many demonstrated positive health outcomes:

A green city is not only important for reducing obesity.  Other health benefits of a strong urban park system for adults include less stress, improved self-reported health, and shorter post-operative recovery periods. Recently colleagues and I examined the relation between urban green space and birth outcomes and found that mothers living in Portland, Oregon, with better access to trees [and] open space were less likely to have a baby that was small for gestational age. In another recent study, we reported that the sudden loss of trees due to an invasive beetle was associated with increased cardiovascular and respiratory mortality.

Michael’s research focuses on measuring effects of the neighborhood built environment and social environment, as well as community-based prevention research, on health disparities.

Take two walks in the park and call your doctor in the morning.