Many previous studies have highlighted the benefits of green fingers, with evidence suggesting that caring for fruit, vegetables and plants can be hugely beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing.
The latest study, which was carried out at the University and Research Centre at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, found that having an allotment garden may promote an active lifestyle and contribute to healthy ageing.
As part of the study, head researcher Agnes van den Berg and the rest of her team polled 121 gardeners in the Netherlands, plus 63 neighbours who did not keep allotments.
The individuals were asked a variety of questions about how often they had visited or contacted their GP in the past two months, stress levels, and how they rated their own health and well being.
The researchers found that those who kept an allotment were in significantly better health than those who did not, which further supported previous research which found that spending half an hour in an allotment leads to twice the drop in the stress hormone cortisol.
Van der Berg concluded by saying: “Around the world, allotment gardens are increasingly under pressure from building and infrastructure developments.”
”Considering that allotments may play a vital role in developing active and healthy lifestyles, governments and local authorities might do well to protect and enhance them.”
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