How gardening CAN really make you happier: Working in the countryside and caring for plants increases well-being, as a survey shows
- A survey found that gardeners are more likely to be happy than non-gardeners
- People with a green thumb were also more likely to say they did meaningful things
- Separate research even found that gardeners had a lower BMI than non-gardeners
Gardening has always been considered good for the soul – now a survey has found that people with green fingers are actually happier.
When asked if they were happy with their lives, 55 percent of gardeners surveyed said they were — compared to just 39 percent of non-gardeners.
And 54 percent of gardeners said they felt happy the day before, compared to just 45 percent of people who didn’t garden.
In addition to the actual physical activity of caring for plants, experts say enthusiasts benefit from getting out into nature and, if they have a vegetable patch, potentially eating healthier. The feeling of accomplishment when a carefully tended plant bursts into bloom can also help instill a sense of purpose.
The BBC Gardeners World Magazine survey found that gardeners are more likely to say they are happy or doing meaningful things in their lives than non-gardeners
According to a study by the universities of Exeter and Tokyo, people who garden have a better quality of life and a better sense of community
When asked by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, almost two-thirds of gardeners – 61 per cent – said the things they do in their lives are worthwhile.
In comparison, just 42 percent of non-gardeners took part in research firm Cint’s survey.
Lucy Hall, Editor of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, said: “The results of our survey show what we have seen anecdotally over the last two years – that gardening and gardens play a crucial role in promoting well-being and happiness.
“During the pandemic, the popularity of gardening and visiting parks and open spaces increased dramatically as people reconnected with nature.”
An analysis of the evidence on gardening and health involving the Universities of Exeter and Tokyo found that people who gardened had a better quality of life and a better sense of community. Allotment gardens in particular can help people with social contacts and conversations.
Researchers even found that gardeners had lower body mass index than non-gardeners.
The new findings suggest an estimated 8.3 million people took up gardening for the first time during the pandemic, with more than three-quarters planning to pursue their new hobby.
The survey also found that not only the physical activity of gardening improves well-being. Visiting gardens also improves people’s emotional state, with three quarters of those who enjoyed such an outing feeling a sense of peace and 68 percent saying it lifted their spirits.