Gardening and Family Health


The Gardening and Family Health project is investigating the influence of gardening on individual health and to extend its benefits to family rituals and routines. 

The research team will investigate the impact of gardening on family routines and rituals across diverse populations.  It will also explore the effects of gardening on changes in the GI microbiota of the gardener in the household and family members.  Finally, researchers will investigate the link between the soil microbiota and the GI microbiota of the gardener in the family. 

Ultimately, the project is working to show that individuals and families that garden will engage in more healthful rituals and routines and exhibit greater abundance of physical and physiological benefits.  

Downloadable Overview

Gardening and Family Health Overview PDF

Research Team

  • Naiman A Khan, PhD, RD, Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
  • Matthew Browning, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation, Sport and Toursim 
  • Andiara Schwingel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesioloy and Community Health
  • Hannah D. Holscher, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition


This project is funded through the Christopher Family Foundation Food and Family Program.

The Food and Family Program is designed to support innovative transdisciplinary research that can unravel the complex connections between the family environment and healthy active lifestyles for all.


Dr. Naiman Khan
Assistant Professor 
Phone: 217-300-2197