Promoting the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time enjoying nature is the focus of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between GV Health and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority recently.
Goulburn Broken CMA Board Chair Adrian Weston said there was a growing body of scientific evidence that showed spending time outdoors was good for people’s mental and physical health.
“We all appreciate the simple joys of dropping a line in one of our rivers, walking the dog around the lake or spending time camping, hiking or cycling through the region’s parks and reserves,” Mr Weston said.
“For the farmers and community members who help with activities such as revegetation or planting days, there’s satisfaction in providing habitat for wildlife for future generations to enjoy and knowing that improving soil and water health ensures our communities remain vibrant and productive. This link between caring for the environment and increased wellbeing is something the region’s Traditional Owners have always intrinsically understood.”
GV Health Board Chair Rebecca Woolstencroft said encouraging the community to get active and outdoors had multiple health, social and economic benefits.
“By getting active and experiencing the outdoors people can improve their general health and wellbeing. At GV Health we are committed to making our community a healthier place for people to live and work,” Ms Woolstencroft said.
GV Health wants to encourage people to be active. Work will begin to help encourage people getting back to experiencing nature through programs such as Green Prescriptions. This is a program where health professionals work with patients to encourage physical activity as part of a patient’s health management.
“Spending time outdoors or participating in sport and recreation improves physical health, which can help prevent many chronic conditions, and increases social inclusion. Any efforts to improve people’s overall mental and physical health reduces the cost to the health system and creates stronger, more connected communities,” she said.
The MoU will see the two agencies cross-promote existing initiatives such as Biodiversity Spring, River Connect and Green Prescriptions and explore future nature-based health and wellbeing opportunities.