Ever noticed how good it feels to be around green, growing things? Not only do flowers and plants make us feel good, did you know there are measurable health benefits associated with their presence? Here are some facts based on research in horticultural therapy:
Looking at trees and flowers reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and relieves muscle tension.
In one study, women 50 and older who gardened at least once a week had higher bone density than those who jogged, walked, swam or did aerobics.
Physicians in ancient Egypt prescribed taking walks in gardens for the mentally disturbed.
People working at computers in an office with plants were 12% more productive and less stressed than people doing the same job in an office where no plants were present.
Working In a garden can produce endorphin highs similar to those experienced when jogging and cycling.
Working gardens and natural scenes were used to maintain morale aboard the Soviet space station Mir.
A study of British Columbia residences for Alzheimer’s patients showed that, at the residences with gardens, the rate of violent incidents declined by 19% over two years. At the non-garden residences, the violent incidents increased by 68%.
For elderly patients in particular, gardening can stimulate all the senses, by providing interesting sights, tactile experiences, fragrances, sounds, and delicious flavors.
According to another study “Those involved in gardening find life more satisfying and feel they have more positive things happening in their lives.”
Resource: The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association