The Health & Wellbeing of people working in horticulture

the health and wellbeing survey

In 2021 Perennial commissioned the inaugural Health and Wellbeing Survey for the horticulture industry to help understand more about the challenges facing people working in horticulture and barriers to making improvements in order to help build better futures for the whole community.

Using the findings from the Health & Wellbeing survey (2021) along with research on the demographics of the horticulture industry (Labour Market Research 2021) we are developing a picture of the health and wellbeing of the industry. 

Download the Health & Wellbeing Survey – Summary Report
Request copies of the full reports – Health & Wellbeing Survey Results and Labour Market Research

Key findings

There is a significant gap between individuals perceived and actual state of health and wellbeing with a pressing need to raise awareness of good health and wellbeing – 81% said they feel good, but in reality, a large proportion had experienced or are experiencing mental or physical conditions that do not equate with good health:

  • The four biggest challenges identified by respondents to our Health & Wellbeing Survey were:
    • 35% mental health issues (stress, isolation, anxiety and depression)
    • 20% back and joint pain
    • 16% debt / financial pressure
    • 13% lack of training and progression opportunities
  • The number of people in the industry with poor mental wellbeing is above the UK’s national average – 85% of people’s mental wellbeing was found to be poor or below average.
  • Over three quarters of people are experiencing aches and pains, with back and joint pain being prevalent – 78% of respondents had experienced back and joint pain in the last six weeks.
  • 33% only seek help when they believe that they’re really ill. Yet, a delay in seeking care could lead to, a delay in diagnosis and treatment, living in pain for longer and/or a deterioration in their condition.

gardener with back pain

Working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the industry

To truly build better futures for the whole horticultural community, we all need a shared understanding of the real and perceived challenges people are facing and collaboration to develop solutions which support the key recommendations:

  • Help the horticulture community to understand good health and wellbeing
  • Encourage the horticulture community to build healthier lives and adopt positive routines
  • Build a culture of wellbeing
  • Develop our knowledge base

To get involved in shaping the future of support for the horticulture industry please contact our partnerships team – email: Kate Cooney or Phil Swainston, or call 0800 093 8510.