Gardening 'could improve heart health and stress levels'

15 December 2011

Gardening can improve the heart health and stress levels of mentally challenged adults, according to a new report published in HortTechnology.

Researchers at the Department of Horticultural Therapy at the Catholic University of Daegu, South Korea found that horticultural activities can provide significant health benefits to people who struggle with mental tasks.

They can also be good for mental and physical rehabilitation, according to Min-Jung Lee, who led the study.

"We inferred that activities such as cutting stems with shears and arranging the cut stems in the exact location are difficult jobs for mentally challenged people," she said.

The researchers studied people at the centre over a period of time and monitored their heart rate variation. It was measured five minutes before and five minutes after each horticultural activity - such as planting or flower arranging - and this resulted in a significant improvement in the standard deviation of the normal–normal interval heart rate variation measurements.

Gardening can also help to improve physical fitness, vitamin D intake and mental alertness, according to experts.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Lee, Min-Jung, "Effects of Various Horticultural Activities on the Autonomic Nervous System and Cortisol Response of Mentally Challenged Adults", HortTechnology, December 2011.

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)