We all know that farming provides us with a wide variety of benefits: from the food on our tables, fabrics for the clothes on our backs, and raw materials for manufacturing, to oxygen for our environment and livelihoods for those who work in the sector. But do you know there are also numerous health benefits associated with working on a farm?

Here are the top four reasons why farm work can benefit your health.

  1. Farm work can keep you fit
    Instead of spending hundreds of dollars for a gym membership, why not sign up to work on a farm and get a full-body workout every day and get paid for it? You can get all your cardiovascular exercise and strength training done as part of a day’s work. Farmworkers can get a healthy dose of cardio everyday walking in wide-open fields tending crops. Yes, it’s true that farm work can be laborious, but you can get in your strength training just by lifting, bending, pulling, and pushing as you perform various farm tasks.
  2. Working outdoors improves your physical well-being
    Working outdoors gives you essential vitamin D as you soak up the sun while tilling the fields. Absorbing enough of this natural “sunshine vitamin” will help your body better absorb calcium and phosphorus to develop strong bones and teeth, and to build a more robust immune system. To top it off, you will get a fabulous tan, au naturel — just don’t forget the sunscreen!
  3. Being outdoors improves your mental health
    Instead of working in cubicles and under the glare of artificial lights, day in and day out, working in picturesque, open fields underneath the vast, blue sky, breathing fresh air, and feeling the sun beating down can be a huge mood booster. Getting enough sunshine reduces depression. Research has shown that vitamin D plays a role in regulating mood which contributes to mental healing. Working with plants and participating in farming activities can trigger healing responses in people. In fact, some health professionals prescribe horticulture therapy to help encourage relaxation and to reduce stress, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
  4. Working the land gives you a deeper appreciation for nature and farmers
    Having a close-up view of the life-cycle of crops and the challenges associated with farming, you will gain a greater respect for farmers and learn to value the land for the abundance it gives. You will also better appreciate the impact that climate change can have on crops. Working on a farm will heighten your awareness about environmental issues and may motivate you to do more to protect the environment and help sustain the agriculture industry.
Heather Mah

Heather Mah

Heather Mah is a Farmwork to Feed writer and a student in the Public Relations Program at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

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