Gardening improves happiness, study finds

Trying to find new ways to be happy? try gardening.

A study coming out of Princeton University found that gardening is ‘good for the soul’. They claim it improves happiness and emotional well being in the same way as exercising, walking, or eating out.

The researchers found getting outdoors and gardening was particularly beneficial for women in low income households.

And while running or sports may provide more physical exertions, gardening works better as an emotional pick-me-up than other activities.

The study of 370 volunteers in the US involved people reporting on their own levels of emotional wellbeing using an app while undertaking a range of activities. 

Those who regularly tended to gardens were likely to spend more time doing so than those who took part in other activities, the authors found.

hey also reported levels of happiness as high as other activities and higher in the case of women and low income households.

Lead author, Anu Ramaswami, said it has implications in terms of equality of food planning as lower income families tend to have less access to healthy food options.  

‘Gardening could provide the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, promote physical activity, and support emotional well-being, which can reinforce this healthy behaviour,’ Ramaswami said.