Owning pets and gardening has been said to uplift someone’s moods, but according to a new study, gardening helps people avoid depression. Out of 1,500 people polled by Gardeners’ World magazine, people who gardened were found to be happier with their lives.
80% of gardeners are happy with their work, and 93% said that the activity improved their lives. Only 67% of non-gardeners were happy with their lives. The Chief Medical Officer for Bupa, Dr Paul Zollinger-Read, told Huffington Post UK Lifestyle that there was no doubt that the outdoor air, being in touch with nature, watching the seasons and plants grow, were the factors that brought about mental well being.
He goes on to say that mental health is vital for physical health, by reducing anxiety and depression levels. In fact, doctors who prescribe gym activity should also prescribe gardening as an activity to develop mental well being. 80% of active people said that they were happy compared to 57% of inactive people.
Computing and gaming are the most popular hobbies in the UK. 50% of people said that these were their favorite pastimes, and gardening came in second, at 43% which it shared with walking or hiking.
According to Dr Sheri Jacobson, Psychotherapist & Clinical Director from Harley Therapy, she had not come across anyone who said that gardening was the single cause of their good moods. However, she acknowledges that it forms a part of a wider set of tools designed for this purpose.
She goes on to say that people being indoors can also feel better by being in their natural, familiar setting. This brought about a sense of tranquility and peace in most people. This has been the reason why most buildings, today, are being built with roof gardens, or internal ones, so that employees can unwind there, thereby promoting a fit working environment.