How gardening can make you live longer and feel healthier

Gardening is the answer. What is the question?

Is there is a connection between gardening and health? You’d think so, but it is stronger than you might think. Now, you and the gym might not happen. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some daily exercise from the comfort of your home. And no, I don’t mean doing push-ups while you catch up with Corrie. I mean that withering garden over there, that you don’t pay much attention to. It can do with some TLC!

Let’s face it. You may not be getting to that gym any time soon. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps the day after. You may well think, “Gardening’s a snoozefest”. But think again! There are countless physical, mental and social health benefits to gain from gardening.

3 health benefits of gardening and health

Just 10-59 minutes of gardening per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality by 18% (Zhao et al., 2019).

Recent research by Harvard has shown the calories burnt when playing sports such as badminton or volley ball and even doing yoga is similar to the calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening alone (RHS, 2021).

Gardening also serves as an outlet to relieve stress. Those who garden a few times a week are less stressed and have greater wellbeing compared to those who do not garden at all (RHS, 2021).

30min of gardening can burn a similar number of calories as badminton or volleyball

gardening and health

Gardening improves life satisfaction and a sense of community

As it happens, those with health problems significantly benefit from gardening too, with the easing of depressive episodes and increasing their energy (RHS, 2021). What’s more, gardening increases the quality of life, life satisfaction and a sense of community (Soga, Gaston& Yamaura, 2017).

Dig into community gardening

GPs are introducing community gardens to their patients, with more and more GPs prescribing gardening for rehabilitation and preventative measures (Chalmin-Pui & Scruby, 2019).

Community gardens are a great way to meet new people and connect with members of your local community. You’re even able to develop employer sought out skills by taking part in community gardening such as communication and critical thinking skills (Thrive,n.d.).

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pick up a shovel and get stuck in!


Photo: Barnes, G. (2020) Pots with plants near garden equipment on baggy textile.

RHS. (2021) Daily gardening is as good for mental wellbeing as regular vigorous exercise

Scruby, L. & Chalmin-Pui, L.S. (2019) Why gardening makes us feel better – and how to make the most of it

Soga, M., Gaston, K.J. & Yamaura, Y. (2017) Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine Reports.5, 92–99. Available from:doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.007.Thrive. (n.d.)

Social and therapeutic horticulture Zhao, M., Veeranki, S.P., Li, S., Steffen, L.M., etal. (2019)

Beneficial associations of low and large doses of leisure time physical activity with all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults.
British Journal of Sports Medicine.53(22), 1405–1411References:Barnes, G. (2020)Pots with plants near garden equipmenton baggy textile.Available from: 21st July 2021].RHS. (2021)Daily gardening is as good for mentalwellbeing as regular vigorous exercise.Available from: 21st July 2021].Scruby, L. & Chalmin-Pui, L.S. (2019)Why gardeningmakes us feel better – and how to makethe most of it.Available from: 21st July 2021].Soga, M., Gaston, K.J. & Yamaura, Y. (2017)Gardeningis beneficial for health: Ameta-analysis.Preventive Medicine Reports.5, 92–99.Available from:doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.007.Thrive. (n.d.)Social and therapeutic horticulture.Available from: 21st July 2021].Zhao, M., Veeranki, S.P., Li, S., Steffen, L.M., etal. (2019) Beneficial associations of low andlarge doses of leisure time physical activity withall-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancermortality: a national cohort study of 88,140 US adults.British Journal of Sports Medicine.53(22), 1405–1411. Available from: doi:10.1136/bjsports-2018-099254.

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