Gardening as a wellness practice: Thinking Thursday

Reading Time: 2 minutes Gardening has many benefits for personal wellness. UVU Wellness’ Thinking Thursday booth took time to share these benefits and provided students with a small way to get started.

A picture of the Thinking Thursday welcome sign invites students to learn about the benefits of gardening.Reading Time: 2 minutes

“You can start gardening whenever you want. Don’t worry if you’re not good at it right now,” assured Aranta Melendez, a UVU senior studying biology. As a biology student, Melendez was assigned to help with this week’s Wellness booth, a weekly event on campus. 

Known as Thinking Thursdays, the booths are simple attractions that aim to teach passing students about various practices to help them increase their wellness. This week’s booth was about the health benefits of gardening.

“There’s a lot of benefits to gardening,” shared Sophie Crowley, a public health major at UVU, when referencing benefits listed on the flyers given out at the booth. On the flyers, listed benefits of gardening included: an increase in physical activity, an improvement to diet, and the creation of community.

According to a study done by Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui and others, increased amounts of gardening correlated with an increase in overall wellness. It also showed that green space increased a person’s overall satisfaction with their lives.

The flyers additionally claimed that gardening reduces stress, a claim also made by Lisa Wimmer of Mayo Clinic Health System. According to her article, “Nearly all forms of exercise can reduce stress including gardening.” Wimmer continued, “It’s been shown to lighten mood and lower levels of stress and anxiety. It’s very gratifying to plant, tend, harvest and share your own food.”

The booth was intended to be a start for students’ journeys with gardening; the featured tables had several cups with dirt and seeds to begin planting flowers, and for beginning “green thumbs,” the booth also provided gardening tips. The tips were simple: start small, make a plan, and, of course, have some fun!

As the weather warms up, students can try gardening as a springtime hobby to relieve stress and improve overall wellness. For more information on upcoming programs, check out UVU’s Student Health and Wellness events website.