Green-fingered Brits are weeding their way to greater wellbeing

Is gardening the new yoga?

Green fingered Brits are burning a whopping 51,428 calories a year – by gardening.

The study, by leading online retailer Argos, found that the average green-fingered adult spends almost five more hours a week working out compared to the less green-fingered.

Regular gardeners spend 35 minutes on average a week weeding – equating to 632 calories burned a month, or the equivalent of two Big Macs.

garden with green plants and brick wall

(Image credit: Amateur Gardener)

How many calories do gardening tasks burn?

35 minutes of weeding – 158 calories
35 minutes of mowing the lawn – 200 calories
29 minutes of potting plants – 131 calories
27 minutes of digging – 137 calories
17 minutes of raking – 63 calories
79 minutes of other garden work – 300 calories

Total: 989 calories per week, over 52 weeks – 51,428 calories a year

garden with blackboard on wall and grass lawn with green plants

(Image credit: Simon Scarboro)

Surprisingly, although mowing the lawn might be considered more of a routine domestic chore than a full workout, adults are shedding an impressive 5.7 calories a minute pacing up and down the garden, and with Brits on average mowing for more than half an hour each week, that adds up to a whopping 10,400 calories melted each year.

In addition to shedding pounds, the research found that gardening has a proven impact on wider wellbeing.
In total, gardening enthusiasts spend 4.5 hours a week outside in their gardens, compared to just 18 minutes for their non-gardening counterparts.

Related: Garden trends 2018 – we predict the key looks for your garden 

garden with green plants and fork spade

(Image credit: Tim Young)

78 per cent of gardeners claimed that pottering around the garden reduced their stress levels and more than half (57 per cent) claimed it gave them a greater sense of well-being. What’s more, 80 per cent of regular gardeners claimed they slept better than usual after gardening.

As a result of the findings, a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) has been developed by TV gardening expert David Domoney in partnership with Argos.

The initiative is inspired by the Government’s five-a-day guidelines for eating, the RDA for gardening is 30 minutes a day.

garden with purple flowers and green plants

(Image credit: Annaick Guitteny/Homes & Gardens)

Gardening expert David Domoney said: 'Most people enjoy working in their garden because it gives them a mental boost. Digging, tilling and planting can be extremely therapeutic, and gives people a chance to think whilst working outside, which is enjoyable in its own right.

But we were surprised to see just how much physical exertion it takes to do certain garden tasks, particularly things like pushing a lawnmower or digging. That’s why I’ve partnered with Argos to encourage the public to get their 30 minutes a day and weed their way to greater wellbeing.'

Related: Make your home a haven of wellbeing in 2018

balcony garden with brick wall green plants and wooden table with chairs

(Image credit: Robert Sanderson)

'Our research reveals that gardening is a fantastic way to improve both your physical and mental wellbeing with the green-fingered amongst us reporting lower stress levels and more physical activity. That’s why we’ve partnered with garden expert David Domoney to provide people with some easy tips on how to get their recommended 30 minutes a day,' says Argos Head of Garden Innovation, Jo Blackman.

But what if you don't have a garden? Allotments are a worthwhile investment, or you can volunteer in your local garden centres, or help tend the garden of an elderly person. Alternatively, try making a living plant wall – you can do this indoors, too.

Read: How to make a living plant wall

room with grey wall and iron shelf with plant in pots

(Image credit: Argos)

Are you getting your garden RDA?

Jennifer Ebert