Gardening key to healthy life, new research says

Anyone with a lovely garden here in Bristol can attest to this, but new research now backs it up: gardening can be the key to a happy, healthy life.

According to a newly released research study conducted up north in Scotland, everyday tasks such as gardening or housework have found to be a boon for our neighbours to the north meet their everyday physical activity requirements. In fact, nearly two out of every three Scots have been receiving their requisite activity without having to resort to playing a bit of footy whenever the weather clears up.

I’m not saying that getting together with the lads and kicking the old football around isn’t good fun as well as good exercise, because it is – even if you end up heading down to your local afterwards and putting those calories back in with a few lagers after the match. What I am saying is that not everyone wants to – or needs to – get that worked up, especially when spending a few hours in the back garden, planting and weeding, can result in the same positive physical activity.

In fact, according to the Scottish survey, only around 15 per cent of the men – and 4 per cent of thw women – who met or exceeded the 150 minutes a week of activity threshold did so by engaging in individual or team sport. By comparison, more than half of both men and women ended up getting their minutes in from gardening, DIY projects, housework, or simply going for a walk.

That’s all well and good for the Scots of course. I’m sure that if the same or a similar study was conducted down here in Bristol the figures wouldn’t be that different though. We’ve got some of the best gardeners in the UK if I do say so myself, and I’m sure we could teach those northerners a thing or two about getting their hands dirty and spending some quality time out in the back garden. Honestly can you think of any gardeners in Bristol that aren’t at least passably fit? Our lawns are impeccable, after all.

Still, this new survey should go a long way in promoting gardening as a brilliant hobby that improves both the body and the soul. If we could get everyone in the world to spend a few minutes a day tending their own garden – or even just a few lovely potted plants on the window sill – wouldn’t it be a better place?

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