Gardening can strengthen the hands

People who enjoy spending time in the garden and greenhouse could be getting more out of the activity than they know.

A recent study has shown that gardening can keep people in shape, strengthen their hands and boost their sense of wellbeing.

Kansas State University noted that older people who practice gardening have better strength than those who dont.

Professor of horticulture Candice Shoemaker, who helped carry out the study, explained that gardeners would likely see the benefits as they grow older.

"One of the things we found is that older adults who are gardeners have better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big concern as you age," she said.

"Theres a lot of natural motivation in gardening. For one thing, you know theres a plant youve got to go out and water and weed to keep alive.

"If we get the message out there that older adults can get health benefits from gardening, theyll realise that they dont have to walk around the mall to get exercise."

A recent study also showed spending time in the garden could be useful for pregnant mothers as babies who are exposed to increased levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are likely to have stronger bones.