Growing for Wellbeing Week in the UK
7 Jun 2021 | Anne Marie Fogarty
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Growing for Wellbeing Week takes place on the 7th – 13th June 2021. Set up by gardening therapy organisation Life at No.27, the week celebrates the magic of growing your own produce and how positive that can be for your well-being, both physically and mentally.
What is the thinking behind Growing for Wellbeing Week?
Approximately 1 in 8 children have a diagnosed mental health illness by the age of 14, and 1 in 4 adults in the UK will experience mental ill-health each year. The past year of lockdowns and the pandemic will undoubtedly have added to these figures.
Connecting with nature while gardening, playing and enjoying the great outdoors has many health and well-being benefits for both young and old alike.
What are the benefits of gardening for well-being according to the evidence?
- Evidence is building that growing your own (GYO) has many advantages to your mental health, including improving confidence, concentration, communication, and self-worth.
- A meta-analysis of research conducted by Soga et al. concluded that gardening improves physical, psychological, and social health, which can, long-term, alleviate and prevent many health issues facing today’s society. 1
- A recent review of the literature reveals many benefits of gardening on your social, mental and physical well-being. 2
- Physically, gardening provides great exercise benefits and allows you to enjoy being outdoors and connecting perhaps with fellow gardeners. This can be a lifesaver for isolated individuals or a way for children to make new friends.
- Increased physical activity lowers weight and helps keep you fit.
Being outdoors, connecting with nature and working with the soil is an organic way we can relax. Listening to the birds sing, the rustles of the wind through the trees and the calm escape from stress supports good mental health and wellness.
Gardening with no garden!
Even if you live in the city and space is tight, maybe an allotment could be used. Indoor planting is also a great way to grow your own if you don’t have a garden. Simple herb pots, indoor plants and raised planting beds on patios or balconies can all create similar advantages. You will see the plants growing and feel a sense of well-being that you’ve made something beautiful and useful.
So, wherever you are, there are always ways to grow your own. To find out more, visit Growing for Wellbeing Week.
- Soga, M. Gaston, K. and Yamaura, Y. ScienceDirect.
Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis.