Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 09:10 IST
We live in a world today where people are consciously working towards maintaining a better lifestyle with a balance of mental and physical well-being. People today like to indulge in good food and activities that can keep them calm, relaxed and stress-free from all the hustle in life. Some hobbies like gardening not just give people the calmness that they are seeking but also take them closer to following a healthier lifestyle with diet and fitness.
A new University of Colorado Boulder (CU) research, funded by the American Cancer Society, which was a randomised, controlled trial of community gardening, found that those who started gardening ate more fibre and indulged in physical activities. These are two known ways to reduce the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. The findings of the research were published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.
Author Jill Litt, who is also a professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at CU Boulder, said that the findings provide concrete evidence that community gardening could play an important role in preventing cancer, chronic diseases and mental health disorders.
Litt devoted a large portion of her professional life to finding practical, scalable and long-lasting approaches to lower disease risk. According to some short observational studies, people who show interest in gardening typically consume more fruits and vegetables and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Uncertainty exists over the influence of gardening on health versus whether healthier people simply opt for gardening.
For the study, Litt gathered 291 non-gardening people with an average age of 41. Half were put into a group that participated in community gardening, while the other half were put into a control group. Both teams participated in regular surveys detailing out their diets, mental health, and physical and activity metrics.
On monitoring the participants, it was discovered that the gardening group consumed an additional 1.4 grams of fibre per day on average or roughly 7% more than the control group. The gardening group also increased their weekly physical activity by almost 42 minutes. Additionally, the participating individuals’ stress and anxiety levels decreased. The findings suggest that while gardening on one’s own is also healthy, community gardening may have even more advantages.
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