A case-control study of the health and wellbeing benefits of allotment gardening

Wood, C., Pretty, J. and Griffin, M. 2015. A case-control study of the health and wellbeing benefits of allotment gardening. Journal of Public Health. 38 (3), pp. e336-e344. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdv146

TitleA case-control study of the health and wellbeing benefits of allotment gardening
AuthorsWood, C., Pretty, J. and Griffin, M.
Abstract

Background - Allotments in the UK are popular and waiting lists long. There is, however, little evidence on the health benefits of allotment gardening. The aims of this study were to determine the impacts of a session of allotment gardening on self-esteem and mood and to compare the mental well-being of allotment gardeners with non-gardeners.

Methods - Self-esteem, mood and general health were measured in 136 allotment gardeners pre- and post- an allotment session, and 133 non-gardener controls. Allotment gardeners also detailed the time spent on their allotment in the current session and previous 7 days, and their length of tenure.

Results - Paired t-tests revealed a significant improvement in self-esteem (P < 0.05) and mood (P < 0.001) as a result of one allotment session. Linear regression revealed that neither the time spent on the allotment in the current session, the previous 7 days or the length of tenure affected the impacts on self-esteem and mood (P > 0.05). One-way ANCOVA revealed that allotment gardeners had a significantly better self-esteem, total mood disturbance and general health (P < 0.001), experiencing less depression and fatigue and more vigour (P < 0.0083).

Conclusions - Allotment gardening can play a key role in promoting mental well-being and could be used as a preventive health measure

KeywordsEnvironment
Health promotion
Public health
JournalJournal of Public Health
Journal citation38 (3), pp. e336-e344
ISSN1741-3842
Year2015
PublisherOxford University Press
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdv146
Publication dates
Published29 Oct 2015

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