Health and fitness benefits of gardening

1 August 2019

 Gardening main

Regular physical activity has many benefits, including keeping your heart healthy, strengthening bones, boosting your mood  and energy levels and promoting better sleep. But being fit doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. Everyday activities, such as gardening, can have physical benefits and support mental wellbeing too.

There is evidence to suggest that if you regularly spend time gardening you can improve strength, endurance and flexibility. It may also help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

And it doesn’t stop there. Spending time in the garden – or any green space  – can have a marked effect on mental health and wellbeing – reducing stress and anxiety, alleviating depression and even calming symptoms such as agitation and aggression in dementia patients. It can also give us a sense of satisfaction and empowerment when achieving our goals, improving our self-esteem and confidence.

Throw in a ready supply of home grown fresh produce from a well-tended vegetable patch or allotment and you can add nutritional and money-saving benefits to the mix!

Our infographic outlines just how beneficial time in the garden can be on your body and mind.

Gardening infographic

Further reading

Green health – how time in nature improves our mental health – AXA PPP healthcare
Growing for wellbeing - AXA Health Gateway
Benefits of hiking – AXA PPP healthcare
Exercise and mental health benefits – AXA PPP healthcare
Benefits of everyday activities on the body – AXA PPP healthcare

Sources

Gardens and health: implications for policy and practice – The Kings Fund
The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing - Garden Organic and Sustain
Physical activity guidelines for adults - NHS
Calorie burners - WEBMD
The importance of non-exercise physical activity for cardiovascular health and longevity - British Journal of Sports Medicine
Gardening promotes neuroendocrine - NCBI
Physical and Psychological Health Conditions of Older Adults Classified as Gardeners or Nongardeners – American Society for Horticultural Science
Strength and flexibility - NHS