Health & Well-being25th November 2013

Gardening for Good Health

It's official, gardening and doing some DIY is good for you!

by Simon Deacy OBE

Looking After Your Lawn Helps You Look After Yourself According to New Study

At this time of year most of us are reluctant to step out into the garden. Yet new research shows that keeping your garden in order could also be very important for your health. Researchers in Sweden have studied nearly 4,000 60-year-olds who didn’t regularly engage in typical exercise, but take part in physically demanding activities, including gardening.

The study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on October 28th, followed healthy 60-year-olds from Stockholm for a period of 12 years. It found that the subjects who were regularly working in the garden, going out foraging for food such as berries and mushrooms, or taking part in DIY projects around the home, were 27 percent less likely to suffer from heart attacks or strokes, while prolonging their lives by approximately 30 percent.

The most active gardeners in the sample were also found to have lower blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol levels compared with those who moved around least, even if they didn’t partake of any traditional exercise activities.

Scientists said that the findings were particularly important for older adults, who can benefit most from such activities but who often don’t engage in strenuous exercise.

The findings were welcomed by Mark Bartram, managing director of online lawnmower retailer Lawnmowers Direct. He said that he’d often found gardening was a key part of living a healthy lifestyle.

As you get older you can sometimes feel a bit silly dressing up in jogging gear or signing up at the gym,” he said. “However, I and many of our customers find that gardening is a great way to keep ourselves active, and at the end of the day you get to see some concrete results from all your hard work.”

Doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, while stressing that spending long periods of time in a sedentary manner is bad for your health.

Article by Simon Deacy OBE

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Health & Well-being

25th November 2013