Why gardening makes us feel better – and how to make the most of it
According to a growing body of research, gardens are good for wildlife and the environment. They’re also good for humans.
Can front gardens improve mental well-being?
Can front gardens improve mental well-being?
Science and medicine have a long history of Gardening. Since ancient times, gardens have provided food for the table and drugs to treat common ailments. Modern science has embraced some of them, like St John’s Wort for depression or willow for headaches. What about gardens and Gardening? How can we maximize their benefits?
Gardening is a part of everyday life.
It has been proven that Gardening and being in nature can improve mental and physical well-being.
Gardens and green spaces have become increasingly associated with Better physical, mental, and social health (1). British physician Sir Muir Gray famously said that everyone needs to have a ” Natural Health Service as well as a National Health Service
How can we integrate Gardening and gardens into our daily lives? Since January 2019, the NHS has officially included Social prescribing in Its Long-Term Plan (2). Social prescribing and preventing healthcare problems will become more important as healthcare costs rise and the population grows older.
The RHS is currently researching to understand the benefits of Gardening for health.
Exercise has many benefits.
Gardening burns the exact amount of calories for 30 minutes, as in some sports.
Exercise is good for your health. According to the NHS, it’s a vital part of a fulfilling and healthy life. Regular physical activity has been proven to reduce coronary heart disease by up to 35%. The physical and mental health problems associated with urban living are rising—economic and Social Costs (3).
Gardening can help you stay fit and healthy. The number of calories burned by Gardening is surprising. Gardening in 30 minutes (4) It is similar to playing badminton or volleyball or practicing yoga.
As with any exercise, such as running or weightlifting, the risk of injury is high if performed incorrectly. The RHS and Coventry University have been researching to understand the effects of standard gardening practices better. Digging can be done with minimum muscle strain. For the first time, we have examined, using technology that is more common on Hollywood film sets, the forces exerted by the joints, muscles, and bones of the body to help people continue to enjoy Gardening and digging.
Find health and happiness.
Growing plants can help reduce social and anxiety isolation in young and older people.
Gardening is more than exercise. The health benefits of Gardening are diverse and wide-ranging, according to a King’s Fund study. Research studies have shown significant improvements in the quality of life. Reduced depression and anxiety Social functioning can be improved. (5) . Gardening also helps maintain independence and prevents cognitive decline. Tokyo and Exeter Universities found the same thing. Evidence of robustness (6) Calling on governments and health organizations to promote Gardening to benefit from the positive health effects of Gardening.
The research on gardens and Gardening increasingly confirms what we already know—green space (7). This includes urban parks, private gardens, and wilderness areas. Green spaces boost well-being: See for yourself.
Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School analyzed the mental health data of 1,000 urban residents in 2014. They used high-resolution mapping to track the locations of the subjects over the past 18 years. Researchers found that People living near green spaces reported less mental distress (8). The results were optimistic even after accounting for income, education, and employment. A team of Dutch researchers discovered that people living within a half-mile of green spaces had a lower rate of 15 diseases, including anxiety, depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
The RHS’s research and programs support these findings. Four out of five teachers who participated in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Reports have shown that Gardening can significantly improve the health and well-being of students.
The RHS published research in 2021 that revealed Those who garden daily have a well-being score of 6.6% higher (9). Stress levels are 4.2% lower in people who garden. The research surveyed over 6000 participants and showed that Gardening was often associated with improved well-being, perceived stress levels, and physical activity.
In addition, GPs are prescribing Gardening to prevent illness and for rehabilitation. In Lambeth in London, thirteen GPs opened. Community gardens have positive effects.
In 2017, the RHS and the NHS teamed up to promote gardens’ positive role in mental health. In 2018 and 2019, we donated gardens to Highgate Mental Health Centre and Dewnans Centre Devon. Over the next few years, we will work together to determine whether the park helps patients with their therapeutic process or reduces the length of stay. Existing studies found that Patients with room views of nature recover more quickly (10). Those who face buildings are more likely to be injured than those facing away from them.
An RHS and Sheffield University study examines how we relate to our gardens and what makes us tick. We measured the perceived stress levels and cortisol of residents in an area before and after they ‘greened their gardens.’ We hope to contribute to the growing body of evidence on Gardening and health and to make recommendations to maximize the health benefits of gardens.
Eat your greens! Plant-based food and healthy eating
The American Heart Association’s research has found that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal products may be associated with a reduced risk of death from a stroke, heart attack, or other cardiovascular diseases, including a Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by 32% (11).
The NHS says that fruit and vegetables are essential in maintaining a healthy body weight. In 2017, a study revealed that Less than a third (33%) of adults can read. Eat a five-a-day.
You’ll always have fresh fruit and vegetables at your fingertips. You can use as many of them as you want, whenever you like. Growing your own is also a great way to reduce plastic packaging and food waste.
RHS is seeing an increase in community gardening groups. Britain in Bloom, It’s Your Neighborhood They can help to promote healthy eating by establishing community orchards and allotments, providing and stocking community fridges, etc. Some actions include growing fruit and vegetables in community orchards, grants, and providing community refrigerators. Fresh produce can be added to food packages for charity.
This life-affirming action is changing the lives of thousands of people across the country. It’s daily proof that Gardening and gardens benefit the mind and body. It’s never been better to grab a trowel and start growing.