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Health , Mental Health. Planting flowers and vegetables can reap bountiful bouquets and delicious harvests for your dining table. But did you know gardening also can do wonders for your well-being? Here are eight surprising health benefits of gardening. All that digging, planting and weeding burns calories and strengthens your heart. Gardening can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: David Domoney: Mental and Physical Health Benefits of GardeningContent:
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Garden lovers often say that gardening is therapy, and that assessment might be truer than you think.
Gardening improves physical health and produces nutritious homegrown goodies , but its therapeutic benefits extend beyond that. From relaxation and stress relief to formal therapist-directed programs, mental and emotional wellbeing get welcome boosts along the garden path. Gardening has a rich history in the United States , and its therapeutic benefits are part of that. In the late s, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a prominent physician and Declaration of Independence signer, documented that garden settings and digging in gardens were significant factors in recovery for patients with mental illness.
Nearly years later, the first U. Sensory-oriented, plant-dominated and packed with fragrance, color and texture, these gardens may be meant for passive enjoyment or active work. Either way, visitors enjoy therapeutic benefits that include reduced stress and anxiety, and increased hope and happiness.
Interacting with nature — even in the simple act of viewing trees or visiting garden-like settings — can have dramatic therapeutic results. Post-surgical hospital patients who viewed trees out their hospital windows have been shown to recover more quickly than similar patients who viewed walls. Not only were hospital stays shortened, tree-viewing patients had fewer complications, took fewer painkillers and got fewer negative chart comments from attending staff.
Merely seeing a garden from a balcony was shown to improve mood in both depressed and non-depressed elderly participants in one study. However, actually visiting the garden and walking or sitting in it did even more. Participants felt less depressed and reported improvements in mood, sleep quality and concentration, as well as greater peace of mind and hopefulness. Like outdoor garden settings, viewing green plants in indoor living spaces can perk up your spirits and your sense of wellbeing.
But the benefits of caring for a living plant, even a single houseplant, transcend green views. Studies show that caring for a plant has particular value for people facing challenging personal circumstances beyond their control that negatively affect physical and emotional health. In one study, elderly assisted-living residents received a four-week class on indoor plant care and were given responsibility for a plant.
Compared with non-gardening residents, the indoor gardeners had significantly higher self-ratings of health, happiness and quality of life. Staff also noted the gardeners required less staff care, were more alert and social, and took greater responsibility for their actions and choices.
When rating gardening benefits, gardeners often note reductions in stress, tension and anxiety. Research proves this is more than a feeling. Periods of gardening or reading followed. While both groups showed lower levels of cortisol after these activities, the gardening group was significantly lower, indicating greater physical relief from acute stress. They also reported greater improvement in their moods. Community gardens show great promise as effective extensions of therapy for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and drug or alcohol dependency, and even for children and adults faced with the typical stresses of modern urban life.
These include improvements in self-esteem, teamwork, social interaction, planning, problem solving and coping skills, as well as a passion for gardening and community that may continue throughout life. Three months of growing fruits and vegetables in a therapeutic communal gardening program resulted in significant decreases in depression and cognitive distortion for patients diagnosed with clinical depression.
Those findings still held true three months after the program's end. Most of them also indicated they intended to continue gardening after their stay. Whether your garden time is spent enjoying the results of someone else's efforts or digging in with a spade and hoe, gardens and gardening can help bring peace and healing to lives. Davies, G. Detweiler, M. Ulrich, Roger S. Collins, Claudia C. Van Den Berg, A. Gonzalez, M.
Twill, S. Toggle navigation GardenTech. Find a Product. Identify Your Pest. About Us. Contact Us. Healing Power of Gardening, Growing and Community When rating gardening benefits, gardeners often note reductions in stress, tension and anxiety. Sources: 1. Get Monthly Gardening Advice! Gardening for Exercise and Enjoyment Read More. Homegrown Red Cabbage? Make Kraut! Read More.
Gardening engages you physically, mentally, and socially. Gardening can positively impact a number of health outcomes, including:. Gardening has both immediate and long-term effects on health. For individuals with mental health conditions, horticultural therapy — using gardening as a means to facilitate dialogue and skill building — has shown promise for improving chronic and acute mental health conditions. People report feeling happier almost immediately when engaging in gardening. Over time, individuals lowered their BMI through physical activity and improved nutrition.
D.. Effects of plants and gardening in creating interpersonal and community well-being.,. Role of Horticulture in Human Well-Being and.
Gardening has many health and therapeutic benefits for older people, especially edible gardening. Garden beds, equipment and tools can all be modified to create a garden that is interesting, accessible and productive. Some medical conditions and physical disabilities may restrict or prevent older people from participating in gardening. However, with planning and a few changes, you can create a safe, accessible and pleasant space. Some physical, mental and age-related conditions must be considered when older people work in the garden, but they should not prevent people from enjoying the garden. These include:. Garden spaces, tools and equipment can be modified or adapted to help reduce the physical stress associated with gardening for older people. Suggestions include:. There are many activities associated with cultivating a garden that older people may enjoy.
Gardening is beneficial for both physical and mental health. Your garden is a space where you can clear your mind and reduce stress as you become one with nature. Gardening encourages positive mental stimulation. Even something as simple as having a plant on your desk can make you feel energized and able to think more clearly. Individuals who suffer from anxiety or depression have found gardening to be incredibly beneficial.
Horticulturists at Wilmot Botanical Gardens, in conjunction with The University of Florida UF College of Medicine, are proving that greenhouses can fight the blues and build self-worth. Research shows gardening decreases stress and depression symptoms, and also boosts balance, coordination, muscle strength, motor skills, mental clarity and a sense of accomplishment.
Below is a summary of research findings on several key benefit areas of garden-based learning for children, youth, adults, and families. Click here for a downloadable pdf version, Highlights from Journal Articles. There is also a Cornell Garden-Based Learning Zotero webpage that includes additional and more recent research findings. Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Visit the Zotero page here.
This is where gardening for kids comes in. As outdoor activities go, gardening is hard to beat for promoting well-rounded development in youngsters. Whether the garden is in pots on an apartment balcony, a community patch or right out the back door, kids who engage with it are harvesting a whole lot more than food and flowers. It makes some intuitive sense. Half the fun of gardening is getting to eat what you grow. But the positive effect a sun-warmed strawberry has on your little ones will continue to ripple throughout their lives.
Challenges Due to Climate Change in Horticulture Production Despite several negative impacts, there are a few beneficial aspects of enhanced GHGs e.g.
Keeping fit and healthy is important at any time, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical. If you have a garden or outdoor space, then you have a place that you can use to maintain your health and well-being. Gardens provide a place for experiencing nature which is proven to benefit mental health, cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. Gardening reduces depression, anxiety, obesity and heart disease as well as increasing life satisfaction, quality of life and sense of community. Gardens are essential to supporting recovery from illness and merely looking at gardens can reduce stress, blood pressure and muscle tension. Above all of this, the coronavirus lockdown provides the time and opportunity to create the garden you always wanted, producing a sense of pride and of course pleasure for you and your whole household.
This paper continues the Guest Essay theme on the positive contribution that experiences in gardens and nature can make to people. The paper finishes with a comment on the value of the scientific work carried out by botanic gardens and how this also contributes positively to mental health by empowering people to do something constructive about the ecological challenges facing society.
Depending on the size of your garden, maintaining it can be also be a great way to be physically active. This could be as strenuous as mowing the lawn, or as gentle as getting a good stretch and practice stabilising yourself while kneeling, sitting or reaching. In fact, gardening is a recommended activity as it can encourage the use of many motor skills, improve endurance and strength and keep you moving. Do you have a picky eater at your dinner table? Watching the plants sprout and grow and waiting until fruit and veggies are ripe and ready to eat can help build their enthusiasm and excitement about healthy foods.
W ith a growing body of research backing the idea that gardening can have measurable benefits to both mental and physical health, barely a week goes by in the horticultural press without a story on the positive impact it can have. As a geeky scientist, however, I wanted to know what it is specifically about growing plants that has this effect — and if we can answer this question could we make gardening an even more effective therapeutic exercise? Put people on treadmills in front of screens projecting different views and those looking at green environments felt the exercise to be easier, had improved mood and better self-esteem than those without a view. However, when similar exercise experiments were run showing the same view either in black and white or with a red filter, they did not show the same benefits as those with the predominantly green view.