‘Being outdoors with nature for an extra 2 hours each week helps to improve your wellbeing and bring down your stress levels’according to research shared by the BBC through their programme “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” episode 9
Have you ever considered joining an allotment, growing your own produce, learning new skills, meeting new people, as well as enjoying the great outdoors?
Benefits of allotments and your own garden.
In a survey of National Allotment Society members nearly every person said their love of allotment gardening comes from the fresh air, home grown produce, healthy lifestyle and like- minded people this activity offers.
Gardening is good for you and allotment gardening offers additional benefits that help to ameliorate loneliness and enable people to contribute to society, especially beyond retirement. The social contact offered by gardening in an allotment environment helps to combat loneliness, which has the equivalent risk to health as consuming 15 cigarettes daily and is twice as harmful as obesity.
Contact with nature
Working a plot year round means that allotment holders experience the seasons and also witness the activities of local wildlife. In 2018 the UK Government produced a 25 Year Environment Plan, which acknowledges that connecting people to their environment will also improve their health and well- being. A study in the Netherlands showed that every 10% increase in exposure to green space translated into an improvement in health equivalent to being five years younger, with similar benefits found by studies in Canada and Japan.
Mental well being
There is a growing awareness of the role that gardening plays in both preventing and alleviating mental ill-health. Many allotment gardeners will tell you that a spell on the plot nurturing plants and contemplating nature makes them feel calmer and more hopeful and there have been recent studies that have measured this benefit
Sense of achievement
As many new plot-holders discover, growing vegetables requires acquiring new knowledge and skills and the satisfaction gained from eating their first home grown tomato or new potato makes them taste even more delicious!
The physical benefits of regular spells of gardening help plot- holders to keep fit and contributes to their mental well-being. Gardening can also help to maintain good gait and balance in older gardeners and help with cognitive decline.
Spending as little as 15 minutes a day out in the summer sunshine can build up your levels of vitamin D. However, gardeners do need to be sensible in the sun.
Find out more about allotments and their health benefits. https://www.nsalg.org.uk