The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls stroke a leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 795,000 deaths annually. Stroke costs the United States $38.6 billion per year in both healthcare expenses and lost productivity.
How Nature Helps
Staying active and healthy decreases a person’s risk of stroke, according to the CDC.
And research published in the journal, Stroke, shows that for survivors of stroke, walking will increase both the quality of life and return to functional recovery. Natural settings have been shown to improve attention and reduce stress – both important therapy objectives in many post-stroke rehabilitation programs.
Explore More Resources:
"Effect of Aerobic Exercise (Walking) Training on Functional Status and Health-Related Quality of Life in Chronic Stroke Survivors," Stroke, 2013
“Dementia Wander Garden Aids Post Cerebrovascular Stroke Restorative Therapy: A Case Study,” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2005
Active Living, ASLA
List of Gardens in Healthcare and Related Facilities, Therapeutic Landscapes Network
"Parks are Part of Our Healthcare System," The Dirt blog
How Cities Use Parks to Improve Public Health, American Planning Association
The Trust for Public Land
Role of the Landscape Architect
Landscape architects have long known the importance of walkable communities on our health. They design parks and streetscapes that allow us to stay active and healthy.
For example, City Garden in St. Louis, a garden filled with trees and walking paths and filled with sculptures, encourages us to explore further, in other words, to keep walking.
Paris’ Promenade Plantee, a precursor to the High Line, is designed as a long walking path, with sweeping views of the Paris neighborhood it runs through. The very nature of the design moves us through the park, keeping us active.
City Garden, St Louis, Missouri, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
Promenade Plantee, Paris Jacques Vergely and Philippe Mathieux
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