Negative body image is a serious issue that we are now seeing in children as young as 10-years-old. Hence, simple ways to boost body image can be very useful in ensuring positivity. A new study, published in the journal Ecopsychology, shows that gardening can help in growing a positive body image. The study showed that gardening led to more acceptance of bodily functions and imperfections.
The researchers conducted their study on 12 urban allotment sites in North London. It involved 84 gardeners and 81 non-gardeners. The latter were the control group. The gardeners were asked to fill a questionnaire designed to gauge their self-body image. They had to complete the questionnaire before and after they spent time in their allotment. The questions used to measure their body image were regarding body appreciation, functionality, and pride. The data was compared to the control group.
The team found that gardening resulted in a significant improvement in body image. The longer the participants spent in their allotment, the more was the measure of the improvement. Importantly, a comparison showed that gardeners showed significantly more positive body image than non-gardeners across all criteria. These findings also reinforce earlier researches which show that exposure to nature improves body image.