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A simple activity to increase well-being

January 16, 2023

Research from the University of Essex (UK) has shown that doing gardening-related activities reduces feelings of loneliness and increases overall well-being and life satisfaction. The study was published in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health”.

Conducted between 2019 and 2022, the survey followed 53 people with mental health problems while working in therapeutic community gardens at the Trust Links charity. As they sowed, planted and tended vegetables and flowers, participants reported a 9% increase in life satisfaction and mental well-being.

“There is growing evidence to support the use of nature-based interventions for the treatment of mental ill-health and great potential to upscale the use of therapeutic community gardening through the Government and NHS’ Green Social Prescribing agenda.”, said Dr Wood, from the School of Sport, Rehabilitation, and Exercise Sciences. “The pandemic drew this clearly into focus and showed that even as we coped with unprecedented disruption and upheaval community gardening has the power to help some of society’s most vulnerable people. I’m hoping this study will show the power of therapeutic community gardening and inspire more research into its benefits.”

The study is part of the university’s research into green exercise – a term coined by the charity nearly 20 years ago to denote the calming effect of nature and its power in improving lives.

Source: IJERPH