Called life-prolonging activity
The centenarians from different countries have something in common — they love to take care of the garden.
Gardening is one of the classes, which helps to maintain constant physical activity and relieve stress. Scientists have proven that it is beneficial for the elderly, and even increases life expectancy, says the BBC’s review of the research on the Association of gardening and longevity.
Dan Buettner, author of books on healthy living and travel, explored five places around the world where the inhabitants are renowned for their longevity: Okinawa in Japan, Nicoya in Costa Rica, Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California and Sardinia, Italy.
People living in these so-called “blue zones” have common factors. It developed a network of social support, daily exercise and diet plant-based. But they have something else in common. In each community people are engaged in gardening in old age, when they’re 80, 90 years or more.
Not only the observation of Buttner, but various studies confirm that gardeners live longer and less stressed.
In a recent Dutch study, the researchers asked participants to perform a stressful task and then divided them into two groups. One group read indoors and the other sat outside for 30 minutes. People who read, reported that their mood is “deteriorated”, while sitting on the street felt “fully restored”. The levels of the stress hormone cortisol they have decreased.
Australian researchers who followed men and women aged 60 years, found that those who regularly engaged in horticulture, the risk of developing dementia was 36% lower. It is also known that sunlight and fresh air help to nervous people, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to calm down.
Physicians from Scotland often prescribe a walk in nature to reduce blood pressure and anxiety and to improve mood and increase vitality.
A recent Harvard University study showed that people whose houses were surrounded by greenery, living longer, with less chance of cancer or respiratory diseases.
Dr. Bradley Willcox of the University of Hawaii studies of centenarians in Okinawa, where the world’s largest number of centenarians: approximately 50 per 100,000 people. Many islanders take care of small private gardens to old age.