For older elementary school students, amicable peer relationships are important to meeting developmental challenges, such as socialization. Thus, in this study, the effectiveness of a school gardening program to promote positive social relationships among elementary school students was assessed. The participants in this study were fifth and sixth grade students from four elementary schools in Wonju, South Korea. The experimental and control groups consisted of 123 students each (total 246) from fifth and sixth grade classrooms. The gardening program included a range of activities, such as sowing seeds and harvesting produce, and was designed to improve peer status, peer relations, and sociality. The program was embedded in the school curriculum; sessions were 90 minutes per week for 10 weeks from 16 April through 25 June 2012. The results revealed the school gardening program brought about meaningful differences in both persistence of friendship (P = 0.04) and adaptability between friends (P = 0.03), which were subcategories of peer relationships, in the experimental group. There were also significant improvements in sociality (P < 0.001) and its various subcategories, especially in law-abiding (P < 0.001) and collaboration (P < 0.001). Finally, the peer status results showed that there was significantly a greater increase in the peer status after the school gardening program, but there was no significant change in the control group. In conclusion, the school gardening program for elementary school students had a positive influence on peer relationships, sociality, and peer status. Implementing a garden program in schools will effectively contribute to the improvement of social relationships among elementary school students.
Seong-Sil Kim, Sin-Ae Park and Ki-Cheol Son
Sin-Ae Park, Ho-Sang Lee, Kwan-Suk Lee, Ki-Cheol Son and Candice A. Shoemaker
The metabolic cost of 10 gardening tasks was measured in children to determine the exercise intensities associated with these tasks. Seventeen children [(mean ± sd) aged 12.4 ± 0.7 years and body mass index 21.6 ± 4.0 kg·m−2] participated in this study. The children performed the 10 gardening tasks at a garden previously established in Cheongju, Chungbuk, South Korea. They visited the garden twice and performed five different tasks on each visit. Five minutes were provided to complete each gardening task and a 5-minute rest was allowed between each task. The children wore a portable telemetric calorimeter and a heart rate monitor for measurement of oxygen uptake and heart rate during the gardening tasks. The results show that the 10 gardening tasks represented moderate- to high-intensity physical activity for the children [4.3 ± 0.5 to 6.6 ± 1.6 metabolic equivalents (MET)]. Digging (6.6 ± 1.6 MET) and raking (6.2 ± 1.5 MET) were high-intensity physical activities, and digging was more intense than the other gardening tasks performed in this study (P < 0.05). Tasks such as weeding (5.8 ± 1.1 MET), mulching (5.5 ± 1.3 MET), hoeing (5.3 ± 0.7 MET), sowing seeds (5.0 ± 1.1 MET), harvesting (4.8 ± 0.6 MET), watering (4.6 ± 1.1 MET), mixing growing medium (4.4 ± 0.6 MET), and planting transplants (4.3 ± 0.5 MET) were moderate-intensity physical activities. The MET data for the gardening tasks will facilitate the development of garden-based exercise interventions for children, which can promote health and physically active lifestyle.
Sin-Ae Park, A-Young Lee, Kwan-Suk Lee and Ki-Cheol Son
The objective of this study was to determine the exercise intensities of 10 gardening tasks for men and women in their 20s. Fifteen university students [(mean ± SD) age 24.7 ± 1.4 years and body mass index 23.5 ± 4.1 kg·m−2] participated in this study. On two occasions, the subjects completed 10 gardening tasks in a high tunnel and a grassy area with weeds located near the high tunnel in Cheongju, Chungbuk, South Korea. They performed five gardening tasks randomly ordered on each occasion. Subjects did each gardening task for 5 minutes and then sat and rested in a chair for 5 minutes before the next task. Each subject wore a portable telemetric calorimeter and respired into the facemask during the gardening tasks and resting periods to measure their oxygen uptake. The subjects also wore a heart rate monitor under their breast to record heart rate data during the gardening tasks and resting periods via radiotelemetry. The 10 gardening tasks performed by the subjects were determined to be moderate- to high-intensity physical activities [3.5 ± 0.5 to 6.3 ± 1.2 metabolic equivalents (MET)]. In conclusion, the exercise intensity of gardening tasks should be useful information for developing garden exercise programs that meet the recommended physical activity for health benefits in adults.
Megan Holmes and Tina M. Waliczek
The average cost of housing a single inmate in the United States is roughly $31,286 per year, bringing the total average cost states spend on corrections to more than $50 billion per year. Statistics show 1 in every 34 adults in the United States is under some form of correctional supervision; and after 3 years, more than 4 in 10 prisoners return to custody. The purpose of this study was to determine the availability of opportunities for horticultural community service and whether there were differences in incidences of recurrences of offenses/recidivism of offenders completing community service in horticultural vs. nonhorticultural settings. Data were collected through obtaining offender profile probation revocation reports, agency records, and community service supervision reports for one county in Texas. The sample included both violent and nonviolent and misdemeanor and felony offenders. Offenders who completed their community service in horticultural or nonhorticultural outdoor environments showed lower rates of recidivism compared with offenders who completed their community service in nonhorticultural indoor environments and those who had no community service. Demographic comparisons found no difference in incidence of recidivism in comparisons of offenders based on gender, age, and the environment in which community service was served. In addition, no difference was shown in incidence of recidivism in comparisons based on offenders with misdemeanor vs. felony charges. The results and information gathered support the continued notion that horticultural activities can play an important role in influencing an offender’s successful reentry into society.
A-Young Lee, Seon-Ok Kim and Sin-Ae Park
This study aimed to investigate elementary school students’ needs and preferences regarding urban agriculture. In total, 1268 students in grades 4 to 6 at four elementary schools in Seoul, South Korea, participated in the study. A 21-item questionnaire was developed and distributed in each school by trained researchers for 3 weeks in Oct. 2017. More than 73.7% of the students reported having an awareness of and need for urban agriculture, and 86.8% (N = 1048) indicated their participation intention. Students noted needing urban agriculture for scientific inquiry and recommended including a learning activity in urban agriculture (35.4%, N = 400) for psychological stability and stress reduction (20.9%, N = 236), and for leisure and hobby purposes (16.2%, N = 183). Students reported participating in urban agriculture activities in indoor and outdoor spaces (33.8%, N = 423) for more than 30 minutes and less than 60 minutes (42.0%, N = 525) twice per week (40.2%, N = 501) with friends (72.9%, N = 818). Preferred urban agriculture indoor activities were planting plants (21.8%, N = 822), arranging flowers (20.9%, N = 788), and making craftwork using plants (18.9%, N = 714). Harvesting (20.8%, N = 790), watering (15.1%, N = 570), and planting transplants (13.1%, N = 493) were preferred outdoor activities. Other preferred activities included playing with livestock (22.4%, N = 884), cooking with the harvested crops (21.3%, N = 805), and feeding livestock (17.2%, N = 650). The female students demonstrated greater perception, experience, awareness of the necessity, and willingness to participate in urban agriculture compared with male students (P = 0.01). The lower the grade, the more students perceived the necessity of urban agriculture (P < 0.001). The results of this study can provide basic data for the practical development of urban agriculture programs for elementary school students.
Sin-Ae Park, Moon-Kyoung Cho, Mung Hwa Yoo, Soo-Yun Kim, Eun-Ae Im, Jong-Eun Song, Jin-Cheol Lee and In Gun Jun
The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of a horticultural activity program on the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of kindergarteners. A total of 336 children aged 5 to 7 years in public and private kindergartens and day care centers in Incheon, South Korea, participated in a 24-session horticultural activity program. This program included indoor and outdoor activities such as planting seeds, transplanting plants, making and applying eco-friendly fertilizer, watering, harvesting, using plants to make crafts, and cooking with produce. It was designed to improve the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of kindergarteners. Each session lasted an average of 50 minutes and was held once per week. The results of the study showed that the 24-session horticultural activity program improved the emotional intelligence, prosocial behavior, and scientific investigation abilities and attitudes of the children (P < 0.05). Satisfaction with the program was very high among both the children and their teachers and parents. Future studies should consider exploring the effects of horticultural activity programs on children in different age groups.