Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Health Psychol. 2011 Jan;16(1):3-11. doi: 10.1177/1359105310365577. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress.

Author information

  • 1Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands.


Stress-relieving effects of gardening were hypothesized and tested in a field experiment. Thirty allotment gardeners performed a stressful Stroop task and were then randomly assigned to 30 minutes of outdoor gardening or indoor reading on their own allotment plot. Salivary cortisol levels and self-reported mood were repeatedly measured. Gardening and reading each led to decreases in cortisol during the recovery period, but decreases were significantly stronger in the gardening group. Positive mood was fully restored after gardening, but further deteriorated during reading. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that gardening can promote relief from acute stress.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk