PA-Green Exercise Partnership PP

Green Exercise Partnership
Green Exercise Partnership formed 2 years ago:
Who are we? NHS Health Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland
and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Aim: ‘Greater use of the outdoors to promote better health and
quality of life for people in Scotland’
• Evidence around health and outdoor environment was building
• Outdoors offers a great asset for improving health
• Much more could be done to realise this potential
• Group formed at same time as National Performance Framework
and Single Outcome Agreements this helped shape our thinking.
Policy context
Equally well report of the Ministerial Task Force on
Health Inequalities 2008:
Key points: “Physical environments have an impact
on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing”
Recommendation 29: the Government, NHS Boards should
take specific steps to encourage the use and enjoyment of
green space by all, with a view to improving health.
...they should encourage and increase the prescription of
“greenspace use” by GPs and clinical practitioners.
Achievements so far
• Green
Exercise Conference October 2007
•Joint statement of intent and purpose
launched at Royal Highland Show in 2009 by
Environment Minister
• Developing a common language and better
understanding between the two sectors
• Raising the profile of this work at key
conference and seminars
Next Steps
• Exploring approaches to evidence base and how to use it to
inform policy and practice on the ground
• Developing a more co-ordinated approach to funding for key
initiatives like Paths For All, Green Gym, Green prescription
and Commonhealth program
• Developed a key set of messages about health and the
• Sharing good practice events and greening hospital estate
Take the Green pill?
What is Green Exercise
Practical conservation?
Walking & relaxation?
Sport & Recreation?
Rehabilitation in woodland?
Branching Out
Natural Play
Paths to Health
Green Gym
Case Studies
• Blarbuie Woods
• Bridgend Allotment
Branching Out
Conservation and Greenspace on referral
• Physical Activity
• Conservation
• Bushcraft
• Environmental art
• Relaxation
• John Muir Award
Natural Play
• Focus on natural environment
• Less play structures
• More robust in urban settings
Greater play value
• choose
• Social
• Constructive play
• Health benefits
Health Walks
• Volunteer led walk schemes
established to improve physical
• Research shows physical and
mental health benefits – and
also social and community
• National programme established
by PFAP – the ‘Paths to Health’
‘I am physically fitter than I have ever been,
I'm losing weight regularly and my selfesteem has improved enormously. I now
have a structure to my day, I feel as though I
count as a person and I am making a
contribution to my own community.
Green gyms
• Aims to improve physical and
mental health and improve local
green spaces
• Research shows regular
participation has physical and
mental health benefits
• National programme established by
• Training and support now available
to enable groups to run their own
‘community’ green gym
“The Green gym’s great. I get at least one day’s exercise
a week. The company is really good and everyone mucks
in together”.
Blarbuie woodland
• Aims to restore and enhance
this woodland for
environmental, community and
health benefits
• Woodland now used on a daily
basis by patients, hospital staff,
and local residents of all ages
and abilities
“Cutting down old trees, designing the paths, the activities made me feel
great and needed. It had a great effect on my sense of well-being. I
experienced peace and loved learning new things .... I really loved being
in this environment and would recommend it for others.”
Bridgend Allotments
• Community organic
gardening project which
aims to tackle chronic
health problems arising
from poverty and social
• Focus is on pro-active
health promotion, rather
than reactive treatment
of illness
“Bridgend has been a really positive experience. My doctor says I’m
much stronger ... thought I’m ready to come off the anti-depressants.”
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