Feeling blue? Get yourself an allotment!

Close Up Of Man Planting Seedlings In Ground On Allotment

If you're feeling tired or low, give gardening a go. Allotment gardening can boost your mental well-being, helping to improve your mood and self-esteem, according to a new study.

Researchers at Westminster and Essex universities quizzed 269 people - around half of whom enjoyed gardening on an allotment. They found that those who spent just 30 minutes a week tending to their patch were significantly happier and were less likely to be overweight.

Asking participants about their mood, self-esteem and general health, researchers found that those who had worked on their allotments at least once a week reported better self esteem and health than those who had done no gardening at all. As well as reporting lower levels of fatigue, depression, tension and anger, the gardeners had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI), than those who did not garden.

It seems quality is more important than quantity when it comes to gardening. Even those who spent just half an hour a week at the allotment enjoyed considerable health benefits.

Co-author Dr Carly Wood, from the University of Essex, said: "Allotment gardening might play an important role in promoting mental well-being in people residing in urban areas."

Waiting lists for garden allotments can be long in urban areas – so get your name down now if you haven't already!

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