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Human Resources and Wellness Managers Can Improve Employee Mental and Physical Health by Offering Corporate Gardening Programs from StartOrganic
Date:7/13/2017

StartOrganic has successfully introduced a Corporate Organic Vegetable Gardening Program throughout Silicon Valley that has shown to reduce employees’ stress levels, while improving productivity and physical health. At PayPal, StartOrganic’s Corporate Gardening Program is already in its fifth year. The program has been expanded three times, with a fourth expected soon, to accommodate increasing employee interest and the PayPal corporate garden now has 38 beds and more than 50 employees participating on a weekly basis.

StartOrganic’s corporate organic vegetable gardening programs’ benefits mirror those of Horticulture Therapy. Numerous scientific studies have shown gardening reduces stress, increases feelings of calm and relaxation, provides a sense of accomplishment and improves self-esteem. Activities in a green setting not only have the obvious benefits of providing fresh air and natural light – they reduce the body’s stress hormone cortisol, thereby promoting balance and a sense of well-being. StartOrganic’s gardening programs offer employees at Silicon Valley companies and organizations these benefits, while also teaching the skills people need to start their own organic garden and healthier eating habits by focusing on fresh, nutrient rich organic foods. From site selection to garden design, weekly gardening lessons, plant selection, organic pest control as well as monthly workshops, corporate gardens on campus are an inexpensive way for companies to improve the mental and physical health of all its employees.

“The ability to take a break from your desk, your stress and your thoughts and get outside to connect with nature can substantially increase happiness, clarity of mind and productivity,” said Ashley Youngblood, LMFT. “It reminds your employee to take a breath, feel the sun on their face and see growth in a plant they have nurtured, all of which leads to measurable improvement in mental and physical health.”

“Scientific studies from the Netherlands, Canada and Japan showed similar results concluding that every 10 percent increase in exposure to green space, such as gardens, translated into an improvement in health equivalent to being five years younger,” said StartOrganic Co-Founder Josh Levine. “It’s amazing the number of scientific studies and research supporting the mental and physical health benefits of getting your hands in the dirt and growing your own food - I honestly see and hear stories of mental health improvement first hand, every week.”

About StartOrganic
Founded in 2011 by local Bay Area residents, Josh Levine and Troy Smothermon, StartOrganic has helped companies like LinkedIn, Symantec, PayPal, Evernote, eBay, inc. and YMCA to teach their employees about growing their own organic food. The company also has developed Santa Clara University’s The Forge Garden, many school gardens, community gardens and organic gardens for other local businesses. StartOrganic’s goal is to empower and educate people throughout the Bay Area by helping them to grow their own organic produce and build sustainable local food systems. For more information visit http://startorganic.org or Like them on Facebook.

Media Contact
Ria Romano, Partner
RPR Public Relations, Inc.
https://www.romanopr.com/
Tel. 786-290-6413

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Improve_Employee/Mental_Health/prweb14505024.htm.


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