Is Gardening a Recipe for Fitness?
Good news for gardeners: A study found that those who tend to plots in a community garden are less likely to be overweight or obese than their peers. Researchers compared the body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height) of nearly 200 gardeners with non-gardeners from the same neighborhood. They found that people who took part in a community garden—a plot of land cultivated by a group—had lower BMIs than their neighbors. The likelihood of being overweight or obese was 62 percent lower in male gardeners and 46 percent lower in females compared with non-gardeners. The researchers didn’t examine the cause of the spike in healthfulness, but they say gardeners may benefit from the exercise, the fresh produce they grow, or both. Or, they note, gardeners may be more health conscious in the first place.
Source: American Journal of Public Health, published online April 18, 2013