Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

Dec 3, 2015 by

Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health 

Many people spend time working on their gardens because they enjoy it and want a space they can be proud of. A place where they can sit back in the summer with a good book and a cold drink and look around at the beautiful garden that they have created.

A garden brimming with brightly coloured flowers, pretty patio roses and rose bushes, large oak trees and freshly cut grass – all alive with wildlife!

But, did you know that gardening is also really good for both your mental and physical health? It has so many benefits that gardens have become a place to rehabilitate those living with disabilities and mental disorders.

It is believed that gardening could even result in substantial savings to the UK economy, particularly in the treatment of health conditions such as mental illness, obesity, cardiovascular disease and loneliness.

Already tempted to get outside and start work? Here is why you should:

Mental Health 

A survey conducted by Gardeners World magazine found that out of the 1,500 adults in the UK surveyed, more than 90% of gardeners found that gardening improved their mood, and they were less likely to display any signs of unhappiness or depression.

It also found that 80% of gardeners felt satisfied with their lives compared with 67% of non-gardeners. This is because whilst lowering levels of fatigue, depression, tension and anger, it heightens self-esteem, mood and sense of worth.

It is an opportunity to take out any negative feelings on the garden, which will in turn leave the gardener feeling better afterwards, as well as having something they can be proud of as a result.

The act of gardening also reduces any feelings of isolation and exclusion, as well as giving the gardener a sense of purpose and achievement. In fact, just by being outside amongst nature, in fresh air and sunlight, can boost moods and dissolve any negative feelings.

Physical Health 

Research from University of Westminster and University of Essex studied around 270 people to discover the effect of gardening on people’s mental and physical state.

It found that spending just a short amount of time in an allotment (around 30 minutes) once a week, can improve mood and help the gardener to maintain a healthy weight.

Participants who attended the allotment for just a short period of time once a week had a similar physical benefit to those who attended more regularly for longer periods.

The study found that those with an allotment had fewer weight problems – some 47% of gardeners were obese or overweight, rising to 68% of non-gardeners.

This is because gardening is a very physical activity – it involves lifting, bending, stretching, walking and so on.

This also links back to your mental health, as when you are feeling physically fit and healthy, your mind feels clearer and happier. As it is a form of exercise, the process means levels of serotonin and dopamine, that make us feel good, rise and levels of cortisol, that make us feel stressed, are lowered.

So, time to pick up that cobweb-covered spade from the corner of the shed and start digging up those neglected flowerbeds!

 

 

 

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