The top five health benefits of gardens, chosen by National Garden Scheme garden owners

The top five health benefits of gardens, chosen by National Garden Scheme garden owners

Mon 11 Dec 2017

The National Garden Scheme has been helping garden owners open their gardens to raise money for nursing charities since 1927, and subsequently the link between gardens and health has always been prevalent in their work. To further delve into the reasons gardens can benefit a person’s health, The National Garden Scheme has been gaining feedback from their most valuable resource, their garden owners and visitors. Over 600 of their National Garden Scheme garden owners responded to an online health survey, here are their top five health benefits of gardens and gardening:

Gardens can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health:

Perhaps a widely assumed statement that 91% of garden owners surveyed agreed with, affirming that having access to a garden has had a positive impact on either their physical or mental health.

“Many years ago I was becoming very depressed, but gardening gave me a focus and, since becoming a keen gardener, I’ve never looked back.”

“Following an accident 10 years ago I was able to walk only 30 metres with walking aids. Gardening helped me to gradually rehabilitate so that I am now able to walk freely.”

Gardening helps to keep you active for longer:  

Garden owners felt their physical strength was improved because of gardening, including better recovery from illness or having better than average health for their age. 85% of garden owners who answered the question ‘Does gardening help you with mobility on a day to day basis?’ responded that it did.

 “We have a large garden which means there is always something to do. My father in law, still a keen gardener, was 100 years old last month.”

Gardens and gardening can help you to feel happier:

National Garden Scheme Garden Owners agreed that gardening was the perfect way to de-stress and get through any periods of sorrow, depression or anxiety, with 70% agreeing that their garden gave them a feeling of happiness and positivity.

“I lose myself in the garden, all stressful thoughts disappear, and watching nature puts everything into perspective.”

Gardens and gardening can help relax you:

74% of garden owners surveyed said that they use their garden for relaxation, whether by gardening or relaxing in their garden and enjoying their achievements.

“It would be better put that I would be less fulfilled and relaxed, and more anxious were I not to garden.”

It is great for building muscle and stamina:

Many garden owners commented that gardening helped them build muscle, including after treatment, like orthopaedic surgery.

When asked how gardening has helped them physically, one garden owner commented: “[Gardening] helps to keep you flexible. I’m 70 this year and can still bend down and touch my toes easily. When gardening you are using all your muscles to bend and stretch and as long you don’t overdo it. Constantly using my hands has helped keep arthritis at bay apart from the odd twinge.”



Editor’s Notes:

  • More recently the link between gardens and health has been celebrated through their first ever National Garden Scheme Gardens and Health week, which saw over 150 gardens open their gates for free for a visit by a small group of people who would not usually get the opportunity to visit a garden, because of either health or social reasons.