Firstly, the characteristics of occupation and the positive influence those characteristics have on human health and well-being are one of the reasons for considering the importance of occupation. Occupations are seen as essential by The Canadian Association of Occupation Therapists (CAOT) to people’s lives and classify occupation into three purposes, also known as occupational performance. These include: looking after themselves (self-care), enjoying life (leisure) and contributing to the social and economic fabric of their communities (productivity) (CAOT, 2002). The divisions clearly show the significant role that occupation has in supporting people’s health and wellbeing generally as well as assisting recovery and their social participation. Similarly, this links to the description Molineux (2010, cited in Curtin, Molineux and Supyk-Mellson, 2010, p.19) provides of occupation and understands its nature as being of: actively engaged, having a purpose and meaning, contextualised and human characteristic. Each of the key characteristics encourages people to express and understand themselves through activities mattering to them, in which gives them a strong sense of their self. This can help to increase their self-esteem, confidence and happiness and decrease negativity, leading to improve their health and quality of life. Having that said, it can be presented through for example participating in leisure occupations, such as gardening.
Gardening is an instrumental activity of daily living (IADLs), however it is not limited and can come under other areas of occupation. Gardens, as well as the activity of gardening, have been shown to have a positive impact on peoples’ health and wellbeing (Garden Organic and Sustain, 2014) and as well, Soga, Gaston and Yamaura (2017) stated that there is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. A recent case-control study had been undertaken by Wood, Pretty and Griffin (2015) based on allotment gardening and the benefits that this particular type of gardening brings to health and well-being. A mixture of allotment gardeners and non-gardeners during their sessions of allotment gardening were both observed on their self-esteem and mood and compared on their mental well-being. Results of the study declared that “paired t-tests revealed a significant improvement in self-esteem (P