According to a new report, Gardening twice a week boosts happiness.
Gardening only two or three times a week, according to a study published on ScienceDirect, maximised the benefits of improved health and lower stress levels.
The study looked at why residents gardened and whether or not they saw any health benefits from it.
A survey was sent out electronically in the United Kingdom, and 5,766 gardeners and 249 non-gardeners responded. Garden typology, frequency of planting, and individual expectations of health and well-being were among the factors studied.
“This is the first time the ‘dose response’ to gardening has been tested and the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the more frequently you garden – the greater the health benefits,” said Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) wellbeing fellow and lead author “Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, “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.”
Gardening was not primarily motivated by improving health, but rather by the immediate enjoyment it gave to the participants.
“Gardening is like effortless exercise because it doesn’t feel as strenuous as going to the gym, for example. But we can expend similar amounts of energy,” Chalmin-Pui added.
“Most people say they garden for pleasure and enjoyment so the likelihood of getting hooked to gardening is also high. And the good news is that from a mental health perspective – you can’t ‘over-dose’ on gardening.
“We hope all the millions of new gardeners will be getting their daily doses of gardening this week. and feeling all the better for it.”