Navigation Links
Gardening gives older adults benefits like hand strength and self esteem
Date:2/3/2009

Researchers at Kansas State University already have shown that gardening can offer enough moderate physical activity to keep older adults in shape.

In research to be published in February in the journal HortScience, the researchers discovered that among the other health benefits of gardening is keeping older hands strong and nimble.

"One of the things we found is that older adults who are gardeners have better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big concern as you age," said Candice Shoemaker, K-State professor of horticulture.

Shoemaker is part of a small team of K-State researchers studying the ways in which gardening affects the health of older adults. She works with Mark Haub, associate professor of human nutrition, and Sin-Ae Park, a research associate in horticulture who earned her doctorate in horticulture from K-State in December 2007.

The research appearing in HortScience in February comes from a study that assessed 15 areas of health in older adults, from both those who garden and those who don't. The researchers looked at measurements like bone mineral density, sleep quality, physical fitness, hand strength and psychological well-being.

"We found that with gardening tasks older adults can, among other things, improve their hand strength and self-esteem at the same time," Park said.

Although Shoemaker said that differences between gardeners and non-gardeners showed up in a few health assessments like hand strength, overall physical health and self esteem, results from some of the other areas were more ambiguous.

"If we had a larger sample I think we would see more health differences between those who garden and those who don't, including in areas like sleep quality and life satisfaction," she said.

The results about the positive impact of gardening on hand strength prompted Park and the researchers to explore this area further. They are now analyzing data from an eight-week horticulture therapy program that targeted hand strength in stroke patients.

"They did tasks like mixing soil and filling pots," Park said. "They had to use their hands all of the time, so that was good exercise -- and they really enjoyed it."

Park, Shoemaker and Haub recently garnered national news coverage for a study published in the journal HortTechnology. The study probed the physical impact of gardeners working in their own gardens. The researchers showed that older adults can use gardening to achieve a moderate activity level and meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's exercise recommendations. News coverage included an article in the Los Angeles Times, http://tinyurl.com/a7ub4q

The trio of researchers also published a study in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills of the physical impact of individual gardening tasks. They found that a task like raking, which uses the whole body, had the most exercise benefit, whereas activities like mixing soil or transplanting seedlings give the most benefit to the upper body.

Shoemaker, who also researches gardening as a prevention strategy to childhood obesity, said that studying the physical benefits of gardening is important for older adults because gardening is a physically active hobby that provides an alternative to sports or other exercise.

"There's a lot of natural motivation in gardening," Shoemaker said. "For one thing, you know there's a plant you've got to go out and water and weed to keep alive. If we get the message out there that older adults can get health benefits from gardening, they'll realize that they don't have to walk around the mall to get exercise."


'/>"/>

Contact: Candice Shoemaker
cshoemak@k-state.edu
785-532-1431
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childrens gardening programs grow environmental stewards
2. UBC researcher gives first-ever estimate of worldwide fish biomass and impact on climate change
3. Soybean grant gives researchers tools to unravel better bean
4. Dunn Foundation gives Rice $3M for collaborative research grants
5. Rare genetic disorder gives clues to autism, epilepsy, mental retardation
6. St. Jude study gives new insights into how cells accessorize their proteins
7. USF professor gives historical look at physiology and WWII air war
8. New book gives a human face to children with congenital heart disease
9. UBC discovery unlocks tree genetics, gives new hope for pine beetle defense
10. Research finds older women who are more physically fit have better cognitive function
11. Pain is in the eyes of the beholder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 The field of ... of the most popular hubs of the biotechnology ... other huge studies of human microbiota, have garnered ... years, the microbiome space has literally exploded in ... This report focuses on biomedical aspects of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) ... "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology ... Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), ... Global forecast to 2020" report to ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... digital and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth ... well as regional market drivers and restraints. The study ... and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... p.m. , Location: Baruch S. Blumberg Institute at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of ... Blumberg Institute and The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) will hold an open house ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric ... he will focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients ... “Fred brings to our European clients more than 15 years of experience in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Public Policy for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). Dorman will lead ... their voices are heard throughout the drug regulatory review process. , “Adding Diane ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... LONDON , February 9, 2016 ... replace paper and protect IP   E-WorkBook ... will be rolled out in Germany ... and protect valuable IP. Users will be able to search ... or experiment as part of the application, to boost collaboration ...
Breaking Biology Technology: