UHI and University of Aberdeen study finds people with gardens fared better mentally during pandemic
A health study found that people without patios or gardens experienced greater mental health issues in Covid-19 than those who have access to their own outdoor space.
The findings were made by health experts at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and the University of Aberdeen, who interviewed 2,969 adults from across Scotland in June and July last year.
The study also concluded that people who had to share outdoor space and live in disadvantaged areas experienced significant mental health issues during the pandemic.
The Covid-19 Health and Adherence Research in Scotland project has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Gill Hubbard, UHI Health Services Research Professor, is the lead author of the article. She said: “Our results show that people who had their own personal outdoor space, such as a garden or patio, had better mental health during the pandemic than people who had no outdoor space or had to share. their outdoor space at home.
“The study also shows that people living in affluent areas have better mental health than those in deprived areas. Taken together, this shows that the effects of this pandemic are worse for people who do not live in homes with accessible gardens. “
The study also found that people who thought they were at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 and that they would be very sick if they became infected were more in distress than people who did not think they were at high risk of contracting Covid-19. contracting the virus. This link between risk beliefs and psychological distress turned out to be much worse in people who did not have their own garden or patio.
Diane Dixon, professor of psychology at the University of Aberdeen, is leading the project. She said: ‘The research team is currently investigating whether there is also a link between where people live, their risk beliefs and whether they will receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
“We will present this evidence to the government to support national efforts to keep people safe and protect their mental health during this pandemic and potentially the future.”