How gardening really CAN make you happier: Pottering among greenery and tending plants boosts wellbeing, survey shows
- A poll found gardeners are more likely to be happy compared to non-gardeners
- Green-fingered people were also more likely to say they did worthwhile things
- Separate research even found gardeners had a lower BMI than non-gardeners
Gardening has always been considered good for the soul – now a poll has revealed green-fingered people really are happier.
When asked if they are satisfied with their life, 55 per cent of gardeners in the survey said they were – compared with just 39 per cent of non-gardeners.
And 54 per cent of gardeners said they had felt happy the previous day, compared with only 45 per cent of people who didn’t garden.
Besides the actual physical activity of tending plants, experts say enthusiasts benefit from getting out into nature, and, if they have a vegetable patch, potentially eating more healthily. The sense of fulfilment when a carefully nurtured plant bursts into flower may also help to feel a sense of purpose.
BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine poll found that gardeners were more likely to say they were happy or did worthwhile things with their life compared to non-gardeners
People who garden have a better quality of life and sense of community according to research by the universities of Exeter and Tokyo
Almost two-thirds of gardeners – 61 per cent – said the things they did in their life were worthwhile, when asked by BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.
That compared with only 42 per cent of non-gardeners who completed the survey conducted by research firm Cint.
Lucy Hall, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editor, said: ‘The results of our survey demonstrate what we’ve seen anecdotally over the last two years – that gardening and gardens play a vital role in promoting wellbeing and happiness.
‘Throughout the pandemic, the popularity of gardening and visiting parks and open spaces rose dramatically as people reconnected with nature.’
An analysis of the evidence on gardening and health, involving the universities of Exeter and Tokyo, found people who gardened had a better quality of life and sense of community. Allotments in particular can help people with social contact and conversation.
Researchers even found gardeners had a lower body mass index than non-gardeners.
The new findings suggest that an estimated 8.3million people took up gardening for the first time during the pandemic, with more than three-quarters of those planning to keep going with their new hobby.
The survey also found it is not only the physical activity of gardening that improves wellbeing. Visiting gardens also improves people’s emotional state with three-quarters of those who had enjoyed such an outing feeling a sense of peace and 68 per cent saying it lifted their mood.