In both genders, most prevalently in women, body image dissatisfaction remains a large subject of focus for researchers. With prevalence rates of body image dissatisfaction significantly high among adolescents and young adults, recent studies have dissected thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors associated with it to better understand its underlying causes and provide effective treatments.
In a recent study by Anglia Ruskin University, experts there found that community gardening, also known as allotment gardening, could be beneficial in improving body image and reducing misperception of imperfections. The findings were publicized in the journal Ecopsychology.
The results were established by recruiting 84 gardeners in the United Kingdom and administering a series of questionnaires. Community gardening, or allotment gardening, is characterized as an area of land for personal and non-commercial activities.
In the questionnaires, researchers measured body appreciation, functionality appreciation, and body pride. Those responses were then compared with 81 participants who refrained from gardening activities and classified as a control group.
After examining the data, the results concluded that gardening was correlated with drastic improvements in body image. Additionally, the more time spent gardening, the more positive effects the activities had on body image, the results indicated
“These results corroborate previous work suggesting that exposure to natural environments brings real benefits in terms of positive body image,” the study says.
“Ensuring that these benefits are experienced by all requires policies that provide for dedicated and sustained community allotment plots.”