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Daily gardening is as good for mental wellbeing as regular vigorous exercise - Royal Horticultural Society

As National Gardening Week starts today, the RHS releases new research* that reveals a significant association between gardening more frequently and improvements in wellbeing, perceived stress and physical activity.

The study, published in the journal Cities, surveyed more than 6000 people and results indicate that those who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all.

RHS Wellbeing Fellow and lead author, Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui says; “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. 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.”

Respondents who gardened 2-3 times a week had a 4.1% higher wellbeing score and 2.4% lower stress levels compared to people who don’t garden at all. However, gardening fewer than 3 times a month has less of a positive impact.

Posted on: 27 April 2021

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