If you’re a gardener, no matter how green your thumb, you know there are many more benefits to gardening than a beautiful yard or adding some greening and blossoms indoors. You feel better with this task, more connected to nature and it’s nearly a meditative practice. However, it’s still nice to have those good feelings backed up with science. According to research published in Gardener’s World Magazine, those who garden are less likely to exhibit signs of unhappiness and depression.
Undertaken in the UK, 1,500 adults were surveyed. It was revealed that gardeners were “more likely than the average person” to say they were satisfied with life. For comparison, 80 percent of gardeners were relatively happy while only 67 percent of non-gardeners were happy. Here are a few other benefits of gardening—and just in time for the spring planting season.
Don’t stop that calcium regimen, but it’s good to know that gardening contributes to weight loss, overall well-being—and it’s one of the few activities that’s accessible to many while improving bone health. The University of Arkansas studied over 3,300 “older women” and found that gardeners had lower osteoporosis rates than those who jogged, swam or practiced aerobics. Gardening is similar to light weight training, perfect for staving off this disease.
Get More Winks…
…both the literal and figurative type. Yes, you’ll be looking better as a gardener, but you’ll also sleep better. “Horticulture therapy” helps treat psychiatric disorders, and numerous studies have shown that those with anxiety or dementia benefit from gardening because it eases agitation, which leads to better sleep no matter who you are. The International Society for Horticulture Science recently interviewed 42 people (with and without cancer) and discovered that they all leaned on gardening to relieve stress. Less stress equals better sleep.
Type-2 diabetes (the type you’re not born with) is the fastest growing disease in America. The good news? Gardening can help you avoid becoming another statistic. Physical exercise can help you avoid diabetes, and since adults should exercise at least 150 minutes per week, getting in plenty of gardening can be a key tool in managing diabetes. Plus, as research from Kansas State University points out, growing your own healthy foods is another great way to prevent diabetes. Remember that fresh produce is healthy and studies have also shown that areas with community gardens have lower rates of diabetes—and what’s more communal than your own backyard?
Have More Fun in Bed
Yes, you may benefit from better sleep, but that’s not the only mattress activity gardeners enjoy more of. Bremen University researchers in Germany published a study which showed that gardening just 30 minutes per week can “dramatically” improve a man’s sexual performance. Plus, men who spend more time gardening can cut their risk of impotence in half, report researchers at the Medical University of Vienna. The next time you grab your gloves and head to the soil, keep in mind all of the health benefits you’re getting. You’ve always been told to find a workout that you love, and gardening fits that description perfectly.