The benefits of gardening are widely reported. Not only is the physical side of gardening a great means of exercise (raking leaves can burn 250 calories per hour – the same as two packets of crisps!) but getting outside in the fresh air is also a great way of clearing your head and forgetting about your everyday stresses.
A new report by the King’s Fund, a charity that aims to improve health and care in England, has urged the NHS to prescribe gardening to patients and, here at Paskett PR, we couldn’t agree more!
The report suggests that gardening can aid patients, particularly the elderly, to reduce social isolation and can significantly help those with dementia. This method, called social prescribing, is rapidly becoming a recognised means of treating patients, whilst also reducing pressures on doctors and the NHS.
Social prescribing is the means of referring people for non-clinical treatments for illness and problems. It encourages patients to take control of their illness without a dependency on medication and clinical support. This holistic approach isn’t just about gardening, other examples include volunteering, reading, arts activities, group learning, cookery, and getting involved in sports.
By offering people social and emotional support, whilst providing a means of distraction and a sense of belonging, social prescribing is believed to be key to improving quality of life and well-being, as well as reducing depression and anxiety.
Whilst there is yet to be any empirical evidence as to the impact of social prescribing, we can’t help but think it’s a great idea and that more people should be getting out in the garden!
Even Mary Berry agrees with us, having said “I have long been aware of the therapeutic benefits of gardening – you don’t need pills so get out in the garden and enjoy it.”
Want to know more about benefits of gardening for your health? Click here https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/sites/files/kf/field/field_publication_file/Gardens_and_health.pdf
Find out more about social prescribing here: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/topics/primary-and-community-care/social-prescribing.