MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Did you know that on average you can burn approximately 374 calories per hour while mowing your lawn or that garden sage can be used in treating sore throats? Second-year pharmacy students at West Virginia University teamed with the West Virginia Botanic Garden (WVBG) to promote the benefits of physical activity and knowledge of the outdoors.
The pharmacy students organized an outdoor tour in partnership with the WVBG to educate community members on the medical advantages of certain plants and herbs along with the benefits of outdoor activity.
“We want the community to recognize that simple leisure tasks such as picking fruits and vegetables and weeding your garden count as physical activity that benefits your general health,” second-year pharmacy student Polly Dingess said. “We also hope that attendees will enjoy the information about the plant life. As pharmacy students, this is a great way to educate the community about some of the history of our profession, specifically pharmacognosy, which is the study of medicines obtained from natural sources such as plants.”
The tour was also created to promote the goals of Healthy People 2010 which is a national initiative to increase the quality and years of healthy life and eliminating health inequalities across the United States. The pharmacy students’ project focuses on the three leading health indicators as provided by Healthy People 2010: physical activity, mental health and environmental quality.
“It’s important to be aware of the advantages of outdoor activities on your mental and physical health,” Dingess said. “By spending simply 30 minutes a day outside in your garden, you can relieve stress while improving your physical well being.”
The West Virginia Botanic Garden is located on an 82-acre property on Tyrone Road in Morgantown. The WVBG seeks to enhance the quality of life through public enjoyment and education involving landscapes and a variety of ornamental plants appropriate to the region of West Virginia.
The pharmacy students partnered with the WVBG as part of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) curriculum, which promotes service to the community.