Gardening improves health, fiber and physical activity. Study finds gardeners in Denver and Aurora had more fruit and vegetable intake, fiber and physical activity, and less stress and anxiety.
This study has found that gardening has a positive impact on health. The study was conducted in 37 community gardens in Denver and Aurora, Colo. All 291 participants in the study were adults and had not gardened within the last two years. The group assigned to garden was provided with a garden plot, seeds, seedlings and an introduction to gardening course. Those assigned to the non-gardening group were offered the same deal during the next gardening season.
The results of the study showed that those who gardened ate more fruit and vegetables than their counterparts, increasing their consumption by about 1.13 servings per day. They also consumed 1.4 grams more fiber a day than the control group, and increased their fiber intake by 7 percent over the course of the program. They were slightly more active, too, increasing their moderate to vigorous physical activity during the study period. Gardeners also reported less stress and anxiety than their non-gardening counterparts.
The researchers said that the modest gains found in the study are the types of small changes recommended by experts as a way to prevent the risk of chronic diseases. They also suggested that further research should be done into community gardening as a potential health intervention in urban areas.
Overall, this study has demonstrated that gardening can have a positive impact on health, both physically and mentally. Eating more fruits and vegetables and increasing physical activity can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Furthermore, the findings suggest that community gardening could be an effective health intervention in urban areas. It is therefore worth exploring further in order to understand the full potential of gardening for improving health.