Healthy horticulture for senior citizens

Y.S. Chang, P.C. Tu
Taiwan is also facing the problem of aged society. The senior citizens failed to physical functionality and cognitive ability with aging resulted in negative effects on mental and social function. Healthy horticulture composed of horticultural therapy and horticultural well-being, it can improve seniors' physical, physiological, social and cognitive function. However, few studies have focused on the benefits of different types of horticultural activities on physical and psychological performance for seniors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of different types of horticultural activities on physical and psychological condition. There were 40 participants invited to join three types (cultivation technique, artistic creation, and food tasting) of horticultural activities, with each workshop (included a lecture and an activity) about 3 h. Tests were conducted before and after the workshop, such as heart rate variability (HRV), salivary amylase, and questionnaire. The results indicated that the type of food tasting could decrease heart rate more significantly than other types. The LF/HF ratio and salivary amylase were a downward trend in three types of activities in most participants. Then, questionnaire results showed that all three types have psychological benefits. In addition, cultivation technique has the cognitive benefits (for learning); artistic creation mainly has the cognitive benefits (about the ability of thinking and judgment); food tasting has the physiological, cognitive and social benefits. By understanding the benefits of different types of horticulture activities, we hope it could be more useful in seniors' activity design, thus delaying aging.
Chang, Y.S. and Tu, P.C. (2021). Healthy horticulture for senior citizens. Acta Hortic. 1313, 27-32
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1313.4
healthy horticultural activity, aged society, elderly, delay aging