Monday, 11/11/2019 | 11:33 UTC+0
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Green Rx From New Zealand

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While we in the United States worry about how to pay for all our prescriptions with or without Medicare Part D, New Zealand doctors have come up with something called a “Green Prescription” that won’t cost money, but will require time and effort.

Green Prescriptions are for specific physical activities that will help older people raise their exercise levels and general well-being and to stay healthy.

Studies show that regular physical activity reduces risks of death from all causes, including heart disease, even if the patient is a smoker and drinker or has other chronic conditions.

In a study from the University of Auckland, reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, people over 65 who got the Green Prescriptions, and follow-up calls to nudge them, spent an average of 40 more minutes each week engaged in physical activity than non-active others in the control group, burned more calories, and had fewer hospitalizations.

The New Zealand doctors think their approach is transferable to the United States, possibly through the large managed-care programs.