PROPERTY NEWS - While you can't really go out and do wherever you want during lockdown, gardening could boost your happiness just as effectively…
A study by Princeton University researchers found that the level of emotional well-being, or happiness, reported while gardening was similar to what people reported while biking, walking or dining out.
Home gardening was the only activity out of the 15 studied for which women and people with low incomes reported higher emotional well-being than men and medium- and high-income participants, respectively.
The results suggest that household gardens could be key to providing food security in urban areas and making cities more sustainable and liveable.
Gardening could provide the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, promote physical activity and support emotional well-being, which can reinforce this healthy behaviour.
In addition, whether people gardened alone or with others made no difference. However, people who kept vegetable gardens reported a higher level of average emotional well-being than people who worked in ornamental gardens.
The findings came from a study of 370 people who used a cellphone app called Daynamica to report their emotional well-being while engaged in any of 15 daily activities. The researchers found that home gardening was among the top five activities in terms of how meaningful an activity felt to people while engaging in it.
"The high levels of meaningfulness that respondents reported while gardening might be associated with producing one's own food," says Graham Ambrose, a research specialist at Princeton University.
"The boost to emotional well-being is comparable to other leisure activities that currently get the lion's share of infrastructure investment. These findings suggest that, when choosing future well-being projects to fund, we should pay just as much attention to household gardening."
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