Gardening & Body Image
Gardening promotes a positive body image. What’s more, the study from Anglia Ruskin University showed that the more time the 84 gardeners participating spent on their small plots in London, the more they appreciated and had pride in their own bodies. The researchers noted that earlier studies revealed that gardening is linked with improved psychological wellbeing and physical health, and that exposure to natural environments helps promote a positive body image. Study leader Viren Swami said the new findings are important because they show the significant benefits of spending time on (garden) allotments, “which are typically quite small patches of green space in otherwise mainly urban environments.” The study found that the gardeners’ levels of body appreciation and pride were significantly higher compared to those measured among a group of 81 non-gardeners recruited from the same area of London.
My take? I’m not surprised to learn that gardening made a difference in the way the study participants perceived their body image. Gardening has always made me happy. It can provide aerobic activity, as well as exercise bending and lifting and carrying. It also involves getting your hands in the dirt and being connected with nature. Gardening is beneficial almost any way that you look at it; it’s good for mind, body, and spirit. And in addition, if you’re successful in your efforts and your garden is productive, you can reap and share the rewards.
Viren Swami, “Body Image Benefits of Allotment Gardening,” Ecopsychology, March 3, 2020 doi.org/10.1089/eco.2019.0032
More from this week’s bulletin:
- COVID-19 & Food
- Hot Weather And Mental Health
- A tasty Cobb while you shelter at home: Good Earth Kale Cobb
Sign up for Dr. Weil’s Newsletters