Get fit in the garden

We share the survey findings for 2016 National Gardening Week, and encourage you to use gardening for fitness

A new survey, commissioned by RHS, has revealed that 80% of UK gardeners say gardening helps to keep them fit.

More than 2,000 people were surveyed to find out which activities were the best work out, how it made them feel and whether gardening was their main exercise. The RHS has shared the results during National Gardening Week 2016, when the charity is calling for people to ‘Get fit in the garden’. 

digging in a community gardenDigging, weeding and mowing the lawn were cited as the top three activities to give the best workout. A person weighing around nine stone will burn 150 calories in half an hour of digging, according to Harvard Medical School – and the heavier you are, the more you burn. Not only is gardening good exercise, gardeners also felt it was great for toning their bodies, too, with  70% saying it helped to tone their forearms and 50% that it toned their thighs. 

More findings from the survey: 
  • 60% said they felt physically energised after gardening and 50% said they felt psychologically energised too.
  • One in five gardeners also said that if they hadn’t done any gardening for more than three weeks they felt less fit.
  • Almost a quarter of 25-34 year olds said it was their main exercise and 60% said it’s one of several fitness activities they do.
  • When asked who they would most like to get fit in the garden with, the top choice was David Beckham, followed by Alan Titchmarsh and Davina McCall.  

During National Gardening Week, 11-17 April, there are activities being held all over the country to celebrate gardening. Get involved with community groups to help improve your local neighbourhood, join guided tours and meet the experts maintaining beautiful gardens, and find a garden to visit for free on National Open Gardens Day, 15 April.

Activities at the four RHS gardens include a buggy workout for mums and little ones at RHS Garden Wisley, while at RHS Garden Harlow Carr visitors can join daily, morning Tai Chi classes.  

To find out more about the events happening visit the National Gardening Week website. 

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.