Body Image Benefits of Allotment Gardening

Swami, Viren (2020) Body Image Benefits of Allotment Gardening. Ecopsychology, 12 (1). pp. 19-23. ISSN 1942-9347

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Allotment gardening—where individuals rent a small plot of land in a public space separated from the home—has been shown to improve psychological well-being and physical health. However, the impact of allotment gardening on body image has not been previously assessed, despite evidence that exposure to natural environments elevates positive body image. Here, a sample of 84 allotment gardeners from London, United Kingdom, were asked to complete a measure of state body image before and after spending time on their allotments. They were also asked to complete several measures of trait positive body image—namely, body appreciation, functionality appreciation, and body pride—selected to provide broad coverage of the positive body image construct. These data were compared to scores from a matched, non-gardener control group (n = 81). Results indicated that allotment gardening resulted in significantly improved state body image and that longer time spent on the allotment was associated with larger improvements. In addition, between-group analyses indicated that allotment gardeners had significantly higher positive body image than non-gardeners across all included indices. These results corroborate previous work suggesting that exposure to natural environments brings real benefits in terms of positive body image. Ensuring that these benefits are experienced by all requires policies that provide for dedicated and sustained community allotment plots.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Allotment gardening, Positive body image, Nature exposure, Body appreciation, Functionality appreciation, Body pride
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 08:21
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:53

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