This year, more and more people have come to love gardening, and with great reason. Numerous studies have highlighted the health benefits of gardening. For instance, the presence of potted plants has been found to be helpful in workplaces, schools, hospitals and more. But how much do you actually know about the various health benefits that gardening brings?
We count down some of the ways that having green fingers can help your health...
Vitamin D Exposure
Vitamin D increases your calcium levels, which benefits your bones and immune system. No wonder that you become more active and feel healthier after you’ve spent time in your garden!
Some people struggling with depression find it very helpful to look at, and even talk to, plants. They may not talk back, but plants and flowers have a way of lifting the mood. The boost to your mental health is certainly one of the major gifts that plants give to us.
In 1989, NASA discovered that houseplants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow. A study published by Stennis Space Center in 1989 notes that plants (and associated microorganisms in the soil around them) are “nature’s life-support system”.
This study has been the basis for newer studies about indoor plants and their ability to “clean” the air. While plants have less impact than air purifiers, they’re more natural, cost-effective and therapeutic.
NASA recommends putting two or three blooms in 8 to 10-inch plant pots within every 100 square feet. Household chemicals come from objects and materials like:
> cleaning solutions
> synthetic materials such as plastic, fiber, and rubber
Some plants are better at removing certain chemicals than others, so you’ll benefit the most when you include a variety of plants in a room.
Recently, an article in Miller-McCune mentioned several research studies that detailed the positive impact of nature on the human condition. Having plants, going for a walk in the park, or even looking at a landscape poster was found to produce psychological benefits, reduce anxiety, and improve concentration.
“Studies have proven that houseplants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%, reduce stress levels, and boost your mood.”
Reducing Loneliness & Stress
Nature gently captures your attention instead of snatching it, calming your nerves instead of frazzling them. Studies show that people who spend time cultivating plants have less stress in their lives. Plants soothe us and provide a positive way for people to channel their stress into nurturing.
Spending time with your plants can help to relieve stress, loneliness, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Flowers and ornamental plants in home or office spaces increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed.
As a result of the positive energy people can derive from greenery, the chances of them suffering from stress-related depression are decreased as well. Flowers can help you to achieve a more optimistic outlook on life, bringing you both pleasing visual stimulation and helping you to feel happier about yourself.
Having plants in hospital recovery rooms, or having access to views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens, helps patients to heal faster. This is due to the soothing effects of ornamental horticulture. Shrubs, trees, and flowers have great utility in hospitals. The benefits of ornamental flowers and plants are so great that even briefly leaving the patient recovery room for daily views of flowers and plants (in landscaped areas) significantly speeds up recovery time. Another technique to decrease recovery time is horticulture therapy, where patients care for and nurture plants themselves. Patients who physically interact with plants experience a significantly reduced recovery time after medical procedures.
The garden is a versatile educational tool that can be used to teach a range of topics. It’s such a good idea to bring the kids along to do some gardening with you! As well as being fulfilling for you, children also get to enjoy feeling responsible when they’re looking after growing things.
What other health benefits of gardening have you come to know and love? Let us know in the comments below, and remember that we’ve got a range of great autumn deals if you’re looking to further fuel your love of gardening.