Survey takers who gardened 2-3 times a week had a 4.1% higher well-being score compared to people who didn’t garden. They also had 2.4% lower stress levels compared to nongardeners. Still, if they gardened fewer than 3 times a month, not as many benefits were seen.
“Gardening on a frequent basis i.e. at least 2–3 times a week, corresponded with greatest perceived health benefits. Improving health, however, was not the prime motivator to garden, but rather the direct pleasure gardening brought to the participants,” the research article said.
“There was evidence that satisfaction with one’s front garden and the time spent in it increased as the proportion of vegetation was enhanced. The data supports the notion that domestic gardens should be given greater prominence in urban planning debates, due to the role they play in providing health benefits.”
A press release noted that 6 out of 10 people garden for “pleasure and enjoyment.” Almost one-third said they garden for “health benefits,” the study showed. “Well-being” was sighted as a reason for gardening by 1 in 5 participants. Meanwhile, 15% said it offers relaxation.
“This research provides further empirical data to support the value of gardening and gardens for mental restoration and ‘promoting a calmness of mind,’” coauthor Ross Cameron, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield said in part in a statement.
Even if you aren’t able to garden, the study found simply looking at one could be beneficial. Among people who had health problems 13% said gardening reduced feelings of depression, 12% said it increased their energy levels and 16% said it lessened stress.
To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.