Photo Credit Stephanie Ulman
Director of Community Health, The Trust for Public Land
The Health Benefits of Getting Outside During COVID-19:
The Need for Public Green Spaces
Green spaces are essential on both an individual and a communal scale. In addition to providing physical benefits, spending time outside can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and even help to manage anxiety and depression. As an unprecedented number of people flock to parks, trails, and land trust preserves to cope with stress and find relief during COVID-19, the benefits of nature have never been clearer. Access to nature is a necessity and it should be a right for all. Yet, too many communities suffer from a lack of accessible and safe places to enjoy nature. As we continue to learn from and deal with the long-term impacts of this public health crisis, we must ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, can experience the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors, close to home.
Additional Links for More Info
The Heat is On - The Trust for Public Land report
Why Walking is the Ideal Pandemic Activity - National Geographic
Dr. Sadiya Muqueeth is the Director of Community Health at the Trust for Public Land where she advances built environment & nature as a tool for community health across the country. She joined the organization from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland, where she was a Strategist in Community Health. There, she worked at the intersection of philanthropy, evaluation, and socializing payers (i.e. health insurance companies) to “social determinants of health”-- a concept that conveys how the places we live, work, play, and worship inform our health and well-being.
Her previous experience ranges from policy work strengthening global health systems in the National Public Health Institutes initiative and Field Epidemiology Training Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to leading a task force on Preventing Substance Exposed Pregnancies at the Baltimore City Health Department to reduce infant mortality. A Returned Peace Corps rural volunteer in Paraguay and a research assistant in foodborne outbreaks and surveillance at CDC, Sadiya seeks to improve quality of life for the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Sadiya earned her Bachelors of Arts in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University (2006), her Masters of Public Health in Health Behavior from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (2012), and her Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (2018), with a concentration in Humanitarian Studies, Ethics, and Human Rights.
Where to find Sadiya Muqueeth