The Science of Wellbeing
It’s no surprise that a connection to nature plays a positive role in our wellbeing. There have been hundreds of studies looking at this non-pharmacological approach to wellness and how it improves mood, pain management, and physical recovery. Neuroscience suggests that experiences rooted in nature are a positive distraction that can increase pain tolerance and improve coping and healing strategies (Franco et al., 2017).
In 1996, Howard Clinebell coined the term “Ecotherapy” (a.k.a. “Green Therapy”), which refers to healing by healthy interaction with the earth. Scientists from the University of Essex found that as little as five minutes in a natural, “Ecotherapeutic” setting improved mood, motivation, and self-esteem (Barton et al., 2010). The act of gardening embodies these same wellness benefits.
A report done by the University of Washington found that daily gardening reduces the risk factors for dementia by 36% (Wolf et al., 2014). A systematic review in The Gerontological Society of America also found that specifically indoor gardening: (1) slows down cognitive decline in senior living residents with dementia, (2) reduces blood pressure, and (3) improves quality and quantity of residents’ sleep (Yeo et al., 2020).
Looking at the science of therapeutic gardening, it’s easy to see why nature can be so soothing. Mansions Senior Living is proud to partner with Eldergrow to bring the benefits of nature indoors year-round. Nature is a beautiful part of wellness and Eldergrow makes that wellness accessible to everyone.
Barton, Jo, and Pretty, Jules N. (2010, March). What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(10): 3947-55.
Franco, Lara S., Shanahan, Danielle F., and Fuller, Richard A. (2017, Aug). A Review of the Benefits of Nature Experiences: More Than Meets the Eye. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(8): 864.