If you’re looking for a new way to work out then dig out your tools, as new research suggests that gardening can be just as good for you as going to the gym.
The study, which spanned more than 11 years of data and nearly 90,000 participants across the world, measured “leisure time physical activity” and compared it to the risks of various forms of death, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
These activities included anything that’s deemed more enjoyable than going to the gym – like gardening, dancing or going for a walk – and were measured in varying weekly amounts.
It was found that doing these activities for only 10 to 59 minutes per week led to an 18 per cent lower risk of death during the survey period.
More physical activity decreased the risk even more, with 150 to 299 minutes of activity per week resulting in a 31 per cent decrease in mortality.
Gardening has long been linked to positive health changes, such as decreasing depression, anxiety and body mass index. It’s also linked to increases in quality of life, life satisfaction and sense of community.
Gardening in particular has huge benefits for the elderly, citing a reduction in falls, stress and even reducing the need for some medications.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.