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‘Surrounding yourself with beauty’: exploring the health promotion potential of a rural garden appreciation group


Symes, L and Hadgraft, N and Marsh, P and Nuttman, S and Kingsley, J, Surrounding yourself with beauty': exploring the health promotion potential of a rural garden appreciation group, Health Promotion International, 38, (2) pp. 1-10. ISSN 0957-4824 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1093/heapro/daad010


Gardening has the potential to enhance health and well-being, through increased physical activity and social connectedness. However, while much is known about the benefits of garden activities, less is known about the potential health implications of more passive forms of engagement with gardens, for example, viewing gardens. In addition, much garden research is undertaken in urban settings, leaving little known about potential health impacts for rural populations. The present study explored these research gaps by gaining an understanding of the experiences and perspectives of members of a gardening appreciation group in rural Australia: The Colac Horticultural and Marvellous Property Appreciation Society (CHAMPAS). A phenomenological, qualitative methodology was applied, using semi-structured interviews for data collection. Eleven participants were selected using purposive and snowball sampling and the data were analysed by applying interpretive, reflexive thematic analysis. Four main themes and supporting sub-themes were generated. The four main themes were: (i) motivations for maintaining participation in CHAMPAS; (ii) social connections and friendships, formed from membership; (iii) sense of community and structure of CHAMPAS and (iv) the perceived health and well-being benefits of continued involvement in this group. This study found that members perceived health and well-being benefits stemmed from CHAMPAS facilitation of social connectedness, function as a community group and a way for members to share a love for home gardening. This study provides insights into the perceived and potential health-promoting effects of garden appreciation groups for rural populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:garden, rural, well-being, social connection
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:155547
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2023-02-28
Last Modified:2023-03-07

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