Number 44 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights how our contact with green space is linked to a range of physical and mental health benefits…

There is mounting evidence that gardens and green spaces play important role in our lives.

In 2016, the King’s Fund released a report exploring the impact of gardens and gardening on our health and wellbeing.

The report found that increased contact with green space is linked to a reduction in health problems, increased physical activity, reduced levels of obesity, and improved mental health.

Other studies have shown reductions in depression and anxiety and improved social functioning as a result of gardening.

There's increasing evidence that access to green space can provide a range of benefits in mental health, physical health and social cohesion

Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, PhD student at the University of Sheffield

As we get older, gardens become even more important. Not only are gardens a source of physical activity, identity and independence, tending to them could improve our balance, reducing falls and injuries. As mentioned in the King’s Fund report, the evidence suggests that gardening may also be important for dementia prevention and cognitive decline.

This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show explores the ways in which gardens and gardening have a positive impact our lives. The show includes the RHS Feel Good Garden, designed to highlight how gardening, or simply being in a green space, can make us happier and healthier.

In June, Paintings in Hospitals will launch Rooted in the Landscape. The project, in collaboration with the Arts Council Collection, comprises an exhibition and symposium exploring how pictorial representations of landscape can affect our wellbeing.

Book your place at the Rooted in the Landscape symposium now…