Ever heard of the gardener who had a wheelbarrow full of four-leaf clovers? He was pushing his luck.
Luck may be one factor in gardening, including the health of gardeners, but the health benefits of activity go well beyond luck and are well documented.
Below are the effects of gardening on our health. Some of them are amazing.
- A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that regular gardeners had a significantly lower body mass index than non-gardeners.
- In the same study, average weight loss was 11 pounds. 16 pounds for women. For men after one year of participating in a community garden.
- A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that gardening can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in adults over the age of 60 by 30%.
- A 2016 Harvard study of more than 120,000 women in the United States found that exposure to greener natural environments increased lifespan and reduced mortality by 12%.
- A 2017 study published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that children who started gardening ate more fruits and vegetables.
- According to the American Horticultural Society, gardening is a full-body exercise. “Goal-oriented activities keep you in your workout longer, so you get more of the benefits of cardio.”
- Working with plants provides serious stress relief. In his 2016 NASA study by the scientist, he found that working with plants could keep astronauts sane and happy in the harsh environment of outer space.
- Exposure to Mycobacterium vaccae, a beneficial soil bacterium, strengthens the human immune system, reduces inflammation and improves stress tolerance.
- Gardening activities such as planting and pruning improve hand coordination and strength.
- Gardening requires us to make the leap, believing that our efforts will create growth and change, so we can restore confidence in the future. brought.
- Gardening sharpens the brain. In his 2019 study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers measured the growth of cranial nerves in all the elderly study participants before and after gardening, and found that the growth of cranial nerves increased. found to have increased significantly.
- Gardeners become lifelong learners because there is always something to learn about new plants, varieties and techniques.
- A 2006 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that daily gardening can reduce the risk of dementia by 36%.
- In a multi-year study published in 2011, depressed patients participated in a 12-week gardening intervention, after which researchers measured several aspects of their mental health, all of which were found to significantly improve. discovered.
- Numerous studies have shown that working with plants is an effective rehabilitation tool for recovering from addiction.
- The health effects of gardening are immediate and long-term.
In the studies referenced, the term “gardening” generally refers to the activities in which people grow, cultivate, and care for plants, flowers, vegetables, lawns, and landscapes. , How much time should you spend gardening each day or each week?
- The National Institutes of Health recommends gardening for 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week.
- The Journal of HortTechnology recommends 30 minutes of gardening activity on most, preferably all days of the growing season.
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends 2.5 hours of moderate gardening activity each week to reduce the risk of many health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.