Watering the roses is ‘as good as a gym visit’: Pottering in the garden can improve wellbeing as much as vigorous exercise, research shows
- People who tend gardens every day have a higher wellbeing score than others
- Spending time outside amid roses and petunias as beneficial as a daily gym visit
- Report says ‘From a mental health perspective you can’t overdose on gardening’
Forget going to the gym, pottering in the garden can improve your wellbeing as much as vigorous exercise, research shows.
Spending time among the roses and petunias may be just as beneficial as cross-trainers and treadmills in terms of the feel-good factor, the study suggests.
People who garden every day have wellbeing scores 6.6 per cent higher and stress levels 4.2 per cent lower than those who do not garden at all, the research from the Royal Horticultural Society found.
Spending time gardening is as good as making a trip to the gym, according to the report
Lead author Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui said: ‘The more you garden, the better the outcome. From a mental health perspective it doesn’t seem you can overdose on gardening.
‘In fact, gardening every day has the same positive impact on wellbeing as undertaking regular, vigorous exercise like cycling or running. When gardening, our brains are pleasantly distracted by nature around us.’
According to the study, published in the journal Cities, gardening just two to three times a week leads to better wellbeing and lower stress levels.
The survey of 6,000 gardeners and non-gardeners, conducted by the RHS in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and the University of Virginia, found that more frequent gardening was also linked with greater physical activity.
Dr Chalmin-Pui added: ‘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.’
The RHS is calling on Britons to get their daily dose of ‘Vitamin G’.