Firstly, the characteristics of occupationand the positive influence those characteristics have on human health andwell-being is one reason for considering the importance of occupation.
Occupations are seen as essential by The Canadian Association of OccupationTherapists (CAOT) to the lives of individuals and classify occupation intothree purposes, also known as occupational performance. These include looking afterthemselves (self-care), enjoying life (leisure) and contributing to the socialand economic fabric of their communities (productivity) (CAOT, 2002). Thedivisions clearly show the significant role occupation has in supportingindividuals’ health and wellbeing generally as well as assisting recovery andtheir social participation. Similarly, this links to the description Molineux (2010,cited in Curtin, Molineux and Supyk-Mellson, 2010, p.19) provides of occupationand understands its nature and being of: actively engaged, having a purpose andmeaning, contextualised and human characteristic. Each of the key characteristicsencourages individuals to express and understand themselves through activitiesmattering to them, in which gives them a strong sense of their self. This can helpto increase their self-esteem, confidence and happiness and decrease negativity,leading to improve their health and quality of life. Having that said, it canbe presented through for example participating in leisure occupations, such asgardening.
Gardens, as wellas the activity of gardening, have been shown to have a positive impact onpeoples’ health and wellbeing (Garden Organic and Sustain, 2014) and as well, Soga,Gaston and Yamaura (2017) stated that there is increasing evidence thatgardening provides substantial human health benefits. A recent case-controlstudy had been undertaken by Wood, Pretty and Griffin (2015) based on allotmentgardening and the benefits that this particular type of gardening brings tohealth and well-being. A mixture of allotment gardeners and non-gardeners duringtheir sessions of allotment gardening were both observed on their self-esteemand mood and compared on their mental well-being. From the study’s results, pairedt-tests revealed a significant improvement in self-esteem (P < 0.05) and mood (P < 0.001) as a result ofone allotment session (Wood, Pretty and Griffin, 2015), demonstrating the fastaction that the gardening took to make a positive difference to the partakerswellbeing in such a short period of time.
As well, one-way ANCOVA revealed thatallotment gardeners had a significantly better self-esteem, total mooddisturbance and general health (P< 0.001), experiencing less depression and fatigue and more vigour (P < 0.0083) (Wood, Prettyand Griffin, 2015). The end result of this study is evident of how gardening promotesa sense of wellbeing and reduces stress as it incorporates most of the sevendimensions of wellness (Developed By Dr. Bill Hettler,Co-Founder Of et al., 2018).
Not only does the activity contribute to wellness mentallyand emotionally by reducing negative moods such as anxiety and sadness, butalso physically as well as it encourages exercise and helps the body to reachto a more balanced state. Furthermore, it can be suggested that gardening isassociated to environmental, social, spiritual, intellectual and occupational wellness.For instance, other types of gardening such as community gardening can providebenefits