Most Hampton Roads cities are reporting residents spending more time in their yards based on the higher amount of debris picked up. Research shows that might be a good place to be right now for mental and physical health.
A study published in the journal Neuroscience shows there is bacteria in soil that acts as an antidepressant increasing the body's serotonin- a feel good chemical in the brain.
No surprise to agriculture expert Mikel Manchester who worked at the Virginia Zoo garden. She says there are many benefits to digging in the dirt.
"We’ve come from an agrarian society where we had been growing things and that’s how we sustained ourselves to an urbanized society so we can just go to the store and pick up what we need. So we really don't have our hands in the soil that then put us in contact with that good bacteria that then help our immune systems. it really is important to get out there and get your hands dirty and get into the soil because that connection being ground per se really does improve your quality of life," she said.
The soil study found that the effects from one day of getting your hands in the soil can be felt for up to three weeks.