Getting your hands dirty as a kid is fun, but it can also makes you happy and healthy while promoting a cleaner and more beautiful neighborhood, according to a new study.
Jill Litt, author and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado Boulder has shown that places such as community gardens matter in terms of neighborhood quality and people's health.
"Community gardens may provide a way to enhance neighborhood environments while also promoting health and well being through economic, social and physical changes," said Litt.
"Gardens yield fresh food, bring 'nature' to urban areas, bridge ethnically, economically and age diverse communities, promote neighborhood beauty, build skills and knowledge of everyday life, strengthen community capacity and one's sense of community, and promote active and healthy lifestyles" he added.
Litt found that community gardeners cultivate relationships with their neighbors, are more involved in civic activities, stay longer in their neighborhoods, eat better and view their health more positively.
In fact, 20 minutes of gardening a day translated to statistically higher ratings of health.
Moreover, people who garden found their neighborhoods to be safer, cleaner and more beautiful, regardless of educational and income status.