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Gardening can relieve human stress and boost nature connection during the COVID-19 pandemic


Egerer, M and Lin, B and Kingsley, J and Marsh, P and Diekmann, L and Ossola, A, Gardening can relieve human stress and boost nature connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 68 Article 127483. ISSN 1618-8667 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2022.127483


The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted social life. Gardens and yards have seemingly risen as a lifeline during the pandemic. Here, we investigated the relationship between people and gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic and what factors influenced the ability of people to garden. We examined survey responses (n = 3,743) from gardeners who reported how the pandemic had affected personal motivations to garden and their use of their gardens, alongside pandemic-related challenges, such as food access during the first wave of COVID-19 (May-Aug 2020). The results show that for the respondents, gardening was overwhelmingly important for nature connection, individual stress release, outdoor physical activity and food provision. The importance of food provision and economic security were also important for those facing greater hardships from the pandemic. While the literature on gardening has long shown the multiple benefits of gardening, we report on these benefits during a global pandemic. More research is needed to capture variations in public sentiment and practice including those who do little gardening, have less access to land, and reside in low-income communities particularly in the global south. Nevertheless, we argue that gardening can be a public health strategy, readily accessible to boost societal resilience to disturbances.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:public health, urban agriculture, food systems, urban greening, landscape planning, health geography
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Health geography
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Marsh, P (Dr Pauline Marsh)
ID Code:148554
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2022-01-24
Last Modified:2022-11-02

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