Vitality

Gardening Health Benefits: Activity Aids Physical And Psychological Improvements In Older Women

A new study has linked gardening with physical and psychological benefits in older women. Most elderly people spend 80 percent of their daily time in sedentary activities, Medical Xpress reported, so getting out and tending a garden is a positive way to break the sendentary routine.

The researchers of the current study, published in Hort Technology, reported that waist circumference decreased and remained lean in women who gardened in a 15-session gardening intervention. Meanwhile, females in the control group showed a tendency to slightly increase their waist, but they also lost lean mass over the period.

Participants included 24 elderly women at a senior community center and 26 elderly women at another senior community center, who were the control group, according to Medical Xpress.

gardening Gardening can positively impact mental health. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

Researchers found that the gardeners showed increased scores in aerobic endurance during follow-up tests, while the control group showed no improvement. Women in the intervention group also demonstrated improvements in hand dexterity, as well as benefits to cognitive and psychological functions.

"Moreover, satisfaction with the gardening intervention as a leisure time physical activity for health conditions of elderly women was very high," a recent statement noted.

Many health benefits from gardening have already been shown in recent studies. In a survey conducted by the National Gardening Association, Americans were asked to give their main reasons for growing gardens: 58 percent of people said desired better-tasting food, 54 percent wanted to save money on food bills, 51 percent wanted better-quality food, and 48 percent wanted to grow food that they know is safe.

Healthcare professional and registered nurse Sheryl M. Ness previously told Mayo Clinic, "Having a garden in your life can be restoring. It gives you something to care for, celebrate, and later on, gives back by producing flowers, fruits, or vegetables to nourish your body and your soul."

Source: Park SA, Lee AY, Son KC, Lee WL, Kim DS. Gardening Intervention for Physical and Psychological Health Benefits in Elderly Women at Community Centers. HortTechnology. 2016.

Read more:

Harvest Gardening And Health: How Your Garden Can Improve Your Body And Mind

Gardening To Get Fit: 20-Somethings Can Use Weeding, Planting, And Digging As Intense Activity

Loading...