Gardening is Good for You Campaign

The Gardening is good for you campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers, reveals just how good gardening is for you, no matter your age or experience.

This is a wide-ranging report covering many topics, and with excellent reference section.

“Evidence on the impact of gardens and gardening on health is closely related to the wide array of evidence on ‘green spaces and health’ more generally. Increasing people’s exposure to, and use of, green spaces has been linked to long-term reductions in overall reported health problems (including heart disease, cancer and musculoskeletal conditions). It has also been linked to reduced levels of obesity.”

“The mental health benefits of gardening are broad and diverse. Studies have shown significant reductions in depression and anxiety, improved social functioning and wide effects, including opportunities for vocational development.”

“Everyday activities like gardening could help older people reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Scientists tracked the health of more than 4,ooo people over the age of 60 for 12 years. They found that people who had the highest levels of physical activity had a lower risk of a heart attack or stroke, even if they weren’t taking part in formal exercise.

As long as they make you feel warmer, breathe harder and make your heart beat faster, activities such as gardening and DIY count towards the 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity recommended for a healthy lifestyle.”

Physical Activity

“Engaging in physical activity across the life course has many benefits, including increased longevity. For example, … people who engaged in 150 minutes per week of physical activity at moderate intensity had a 31% reduction in mortality compared with those who were less active. The benefit was greatest in those older than 60 years.”

“Physical activity has multiple benefits in older age. These include improving physical and mental capacities  (for example, by maintaining muscle strength and cognitive function, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving self-esteem); preventing disease and reducing risk  (for example, of coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke); and improving social outcomes  (for example, by increasing community involvement, and maintaining social networks and intergenerational links).”

“Physical activity also appears to preserve, and may even improve, cognitive function in people without dementia, reducing cognitive decline by around one third.”