Gardening Promotes Positive Body Image
New research finds a little dirt and sunshine helps with body acceptance
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A study published in the journal of Ecopsychology found that gardeners had significantly higher levels of body appreciation, body pride and appreciation for their body’s functionality compared to non-gardeners.
This appreciation and acceptance doesn’t come from calorie-burning while working in the sun, but from the empowerment that you can work with the earth to produce body-nourishing food and plants.
“Positive body image is beneficial because it helps to foster psychological and physical resilience, which contributes to overall well being,” says study author Viren Swami. “The findings from this new study are important because they specifically show the significant benefits of spending time on allotments, which are typically quite small patches of green space in otherwise mainly urban environments.”
The study also concluded that the longer period of time gardeners continued gardening, the larger the improvement in positive body image.
Swami hopes this study will inspire more communities to embrace gardens and create more space for it to be accessible to the public.
“Ensuring that opportunities for gardening are available to all people is, therefore, vital and may help to reduce the long-term cost burden on health services,” he explained. “One way to achieve this, beyond policies that ensure access to nature for all citizens, would be through the provision of dedicated and sustained community allotment plots.”
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Jones Valley Teaching Farm works to combat hunger in its community through food education. The nonprofit serves K through 12th grade students who might not have access to good, whole foods and want to learn more about farm-to-table meals.
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