As everyone knows, an outdoor lifestyle with moderate physical activity can help us live longer, and gardening is an easy way to achieve both.
Buettner says there is evidence that gardeners often live longer with less stress. A series of studies confirm this and point to both the physical and mental health benefits of gardening.
In the recent Dutch study, researchers asked participants to complete a rather intense task, then divided them into two groups. One group read books indoors and the other gardened outdoors for 30 minutes. The reading group’s mood worsened, while the gardeners not only had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, but also felt “fully recovered” and in a better mood. An Australian study that followed men and women in their 60s found that regular gardeners had a 36% lower risk of dementia than those who did not.
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