Healthy Dirt ! Why Gardening is good for you

Why messing your hands around in soil is good for you.

Olivia Eddah

Olivia Eddah

Public Health Officer, Nyaho Medical Centre

09 07 17 Nyaho Website Shoot 0096

Is gardening really good for you? Well the evidence is in, YES!

We did a lot of digging and found a bunch of scientific evidence that supports the hypothesis of why gardening is good for you.

It would appear from the evidence that the humble act of having green fingers will do some remarkable things for your health.

We were a little blown away by the statistics we found and we are sure you will be also.

For those of us who live in places without soil space, gardening in potted plants should do the trick.

Gardening could reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by as much as 27% and obesity by as much as 62%

Depending on the intensity of the work done, gardening can be a work out. 3 hours of moderate gardening = 1 full hour in the gym (based on the calories burned).

And although it's not technically exercising, getting up and gardening has benefits over doing nothing.

According to one study, gardeners have lower BMIs than non-gardeners.

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in tune once more" - John Burroughs

Gardening could make you happier person :)

The beneficial bacterium in the soil can make us happier. Mycobacterium vaccae which lives naturally in soil has been found to trigger the release of serotonin which lifts moods.

Compared with indoor reading, gardening is more effective at reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Gardening requires skills that can protect the brain against ageing such as visuo-spatial skills, executive functioning and memorisation and perhaps that's why it leads to better brain health and improved memory.

The risk of getting dementia in regular gardeners is reduced by 36% compared to non-gardeners.  Similarly by being around plants, memory retention is increased by up to 20% simply by being around plants.

So what are you waiting for ? Start gathering garden tools, flower stems, fruit or vegetable seeds and dig into some “good dirt”.