Health Benefits of Urban Allotment Gardening: Improved Physical and Psychological Well-Being and Social Integration
2.1. Site Description
2.3. Health Outcomes
- Perceived general health was measured by a single question “How do you rate your health in general?” Responses were scored on a five-point scale, ranging from 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent). This measure is known to be related to morbidity and mortality rates and is a strong predictor of health status [36,37]. In this section, gardeners were also asked to report how strongly they felt that their perceived general health was improved relative to before participating in gardening, which was scored on a four-point scale ranging from “No change” to “Strongly improved.”
- Subjective health complaints were measured with a 10-item symptom checklist (feeling fatigue or tired, poor appetite, difficulty falling asleep, headache, constipation, lack of facial expression, hypothermia, catching a cold easily, out of breath during daily physical activities, feeling muscle weakness), which was modified from the Subjective Health Complaints Inventory . The total number of health complaints was used as a measure of subjective health complaints, ranging from 0 to 10.
- Body mass index (BMI) was calculated using self-reported height and weight. BMI is related to overall health and obesity, cardiovascular mortality and morbidity . BMI values in excess of 25 and 30 are considered as overweight and obese, respectively.
- Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire, which is the most extensively used self-report instrument for measuring common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression . For each question, responses indicating distress score 1 and those indicating no or limited distress score 0. The scores across the 12 items were summed, ranging from 0 to 12.
- Social cohesion was assessed with the Social Cohesion and Trust Scale . This scale asked respondents how they agreed with statements about their neighbours. Responses of each of these items were scored on a four-point scale ranging from 0 (Disagree strongly) to 4 (Agree strongly). The scores across the five items were summed, ranging from 0 to 20.
2.4. Socio-Demographic and Lifestyle Variables
2.5. Motivation, Frequency and Duration of Gardening
2.6. Statistical Analyses
3.1. Sample Description
3.2. Comparison of Gardeners and Non-Gardeners
3.3. Frequency and Duration of Gardening
Conflicts of Interest
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|Gender||Female||52||31.9||92||58.2||χ2 = 21.43, df = 1, p < 0.001|
|Household income||Less than ¥3,000,000 ($30,000)||40||37.4||60||40.5||χ2 = 3.58, df = 5, p = 0.61|
|Employment status||Student||3||1.9||5||3.2||χ2 = 14.52, df = 7, p = 0.04|
|Smoking||Never||140||87.5||138||87.3||χ2 = 0.90, df = 3, p = 0.82|
|Drinking alcohol||Never||49||30.6||59||37.3||χ2 = 8.57, df = 3, p = 0.04|
|Vegetable intake||Seldom||3||1.9||17||10.7||χ2 = 35.22, df = 2, p < 0.001|
|Age (years)||61.9||17.1||61.0||16.4||F (1302) = 0.25, p = 0.62|
|Nature relatedness||3.6||0.6||3.6||0.6||F (1319) = 0.31, p = 0.58|
|Physical activity levels (days per week)||3.9||2.3||3.9||3.3||F (1306) = 0.001, p = 0.98|
|Explanatory Variables||Perceived General Health||Subjective Health Complaints||BMI||General Mental Health||Social Cohesion|
|Age||−0.02 (0.01) **||−0.01 (0.01)||0.02 (0.01)||−0.02 (0.01)||0.04 (0.02) *|
|Gender (male)||0.55 (0.27) *||−0.46 (0.19) *||2.40 (0.38) ***||−0.28 (0.45)||0.72 (0.61)|
|Nature relatedness||0.50 (0.23) *||0.08 (0.17)||−0.76 (0.33) *||0.26 (0.35)||0.43 (0.49)|
|Household income (¥3,010,000–5,000,000)||NA||−0.33 (0.24)||NA||−0.52 (0.51)||0.28 (0.71)|
|Household income (¥5,010,000–7,000,000)||NA||−0.50 (0.31)||NA||−0.82 (0.65)||0.56 (0.91)|
|Household income (¥7,010,000–10,000,000)||NA||−0.08 (0.34)||NA||−1.26 (0.71)||0.12 (1.00)|
|Household income (¥10,010,000–15,000,000)||NA||−0.47 (0.45)||NA||−1.65 (0.95)||2.4 (1.32)|
|Household income (over ¥15,000,000)||NA||0.13 (0.54)||NA||−1.84 (1.12)||1.76 (1.57)|
|Employment status (student)||3.32 (1.38)||NA||NA||−3.42 (1.84)||NA|
|Employment status (housewife/househusband)||0.06 (0.51)||NA||NA||0.73 (0.70)||NA|
|Employment status (irregular employee)||0.04 (0.53)||NA||NA||0.25 (0.78)||NA|
|Employment status (self-employed)||0.31 (0.51)||NA||NA||−0.71 (0.78)||NA|
|Employment status (unemployed)||−0.48 (0.56)||NA||NA||0.74 (0.86)||NA|
|Employment status (retiree)||−0.46 (0.44)||NA||NA||0.03 (0.73)||NA|
|Employment status (others)||0.17 (0.94)||NA||NA||−1.45 (1.40)||NA|
|Frequency of smoking||−0.32 (0.18)||0.16 (0.13)||0.00 (0.26)||0.56 (0.27) *||0.65 (0.38)|
|Frequency of drinking alcohol||0.04 (0.14)||0.04 (0.10)||0.10 (0.20)||0.45 (0.21) *||0.54 (0.29)|
|Frequency of vegetable intake||0.81 (0.22) ***||−0.41 (0.16) **||0.12 (0.32)||−1.24 (0.34) ***||0.51 (0.47)|
|Physical activity levels||0.15 (0.06) **||−0.06 (0.03) *||0.00 (0.07)||−0.06 (0.07)||0.01 (0.10)|
|Model (i) + Respondent type (gardener)||1.40 (0.29) ***||−0.43 (0.21) *||0.56 (0.39)||−0.91 (0.42) *||1.57 (0.57) ***|
|Model (i) + Frequency of gardening (times per month)||0.01 (0.02)||−0.01 (0.01)||−0.02 (0.03)||−0.01 (0.03)||0.08 (0.04)|
|Model (i) + Duration of gardening (monthly total minutes)||0.06 (0.55)||−0.62 (0.32)||−0.04 (0.87)||−0.48 (0.64)||0.96 (1.14)|
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Soga, M.; Cox, D.T.C.; Yamaura, Y.; Gaston, K.J.; Kurisu, K.; Hanaki, K. Health Benefits of Urban Allotment Gardening: Improved Physical and Psychological Well-Being and Social Integration. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010071
Soga M, Cox DTC, Yamaura Y, Gaston KJ, Kurisu K, Hanaki K. Health Benefits of Urban Allotment Gardening: Improved Physical and Psychological Well-Being and Social Integration. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(1):71. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010071Chicago/Turabian Style
Soga, Masashi, Daniel T. C. Cox, Yuichi Yamaura, Kevin J. Gaston, Kiyo Kurisu, and Keisuke Hanaki. 2017. "Health Benefits of Urban Allotment Gardening: Improved Physical and Psychological Well-Being and Social Integration" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, no. 1: 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14010071