Green way to plant seeds of happiness

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Gardeners are happier than non-gardeners and less likely to display signs associated with unhappiness or depression, a survey suggests.

The poll of 1,500 UK adults for Gardeners’ World magazine found that gardeners score higher than the average person on measures including how worthwhile they believe their life is and how satisfied they are with their life generally.

It found 80 per cent of gardeners feel satisfied with their lives compared with 67 per cent for non-gardeners, and 93 per cent of gardeners think gardening improves their mood The survey also revealed 78 per cent of walkers are satisfied with their lives as are 75 per cent of those who fish and 73 per cent of those keen on computing compared with 55 per cent of those with no hobbies.

When asked if they were happy, 80 per cent of active people said yes compared with 57 per cent of those who described themselves as inactive.

The most popular hobby in the UK is computing or gaming, with 52 per cent of respondents naming it as their favourite pastime, while gardening came joint second at 43 per cent with walking 
or hiking, according to the 
study.

Gardeners’ World editor Lucy Hall said: “We have long suspected it, but our research means we can definitely say gardening makes you happy.

“Part of it comes from nurturing something but also a natural optimism that no matter how bad the weather, there’s always next year. It’s also about passing the seed of knowledge and the pleasure that gives.”