Getting out and about in the fresh air, tending to the garden each day, is as good for you as regular exercise such as running or cycling – and even just gardening a few times a week leads to better wellbeing and a drop in stress levels.
This is according to new research from the RHS to mark the start of National Gardening Week, revealing that there is a significant association between more frequent gardening and improvements in wellbeing, perceived stress and physical activity.
As for why people choose to start gardening, the study also found that six out of ten do so for pleasure and enjoyment, while almost a third said they did it for the health benefits. Some one in five cited wellbeing for their interest in gardening, with 15 per cent saying it makes them feel calm and relaxed.
Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, RHS wellbeing fellow and lead author of the study, said: “In fact gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing than undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running.
“When gardening, our brains are pleasantly distracted by nature around us. This shifts our focus away from ourselves and our stresses, thereby restoring our minds and reducing negative feelings.”
National Gardening Week is running until May 2nd, encouraging people to get their dose of Vitamin G and take a few minutes each day to get outside and connect with nature. This could be anything from taking a mindful moment or two in your own garden, listening for birdsong, or bringing in some houseplants to put on your desk if working from home.
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