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A Green Thumb is Good for Your Health

Note: The following podcast was broadcast as part of UF’s Health in a Heartbeat series. We could not agree more that for many people gardening is an excellent way to improve mental health. We hope you find it helpful as well.

Are you interested in improving your social, physical and psychological health? What about lessening your chances of any long-term health issues that you may run into in the future? If so, you may want to grab a shovel and gloves because gardening could be your solution.

In a meta-analysis study conducted by Science Direct, it was found that both gardening and participating in gardening have positive influences on health. Along with this, gardening can result in a decrease in depression, stress, anxiety and mood disturbances. All of these benefits combined increase quality of life and cognitive function.

Incorporating more nature in your life can benefit everyone, especially those in places with little to no exposure to greenery. The study explains that gardening also helps reduce the risk of diabetes and depression, which are two common health issues seen in urban areas. Implementing nature in cities can result in an overall healthier and happier society.

Gardening is so beneficial to health that the practice of “horticultural therapy” has been created to help those who seek wellness through plants. Horticultural therapy is used for people with psychological and occupational health issues and is performed in a greenhouse. Participants complete a range of activities with plants and each exercise varies depending on the person’s health issues.

Gardening is a cost-effective way to improve your well-being and can be practiced regularly as preventative medicine. Increasing the foliage in your home while also boosting your mental and physical health is a no-brainer.