6 Health Benefits of Indoor Plants, According to Research

Posted by Jason Wyrwicz on Jun 7th 2021

We all know that plants are beautiful and they can enhance any room or office. However, there are many other reasons why you might want to consider purchasing another plant — or two!

In this article, we are going to list six science-backed health benefits of having indoor plants. You might be surprised by how much good these little wonders do.

Cut Your Stress Levels

According to several studies, indoor plants can reduce stress levels. This is because plants that are placed around the home or office are soothing and relaxing.

Plants were found to not only reduce psychological stress but physiological stress too. The reason is that indoor plants can suppress autonomic nervous system activity in people. Plants also alleviate high blood pressure and promote tranquillity and calm feelings.

In the study, people were given two different tasks: repotting a houseplant and completing a computer-based task. After completing each activity, researchers measured the stress levels triggered by each activity, including heart rate and blood pressure levels.

The researchers found that not only was the gardening task less stressful than the computer-based task, as you might expect but that the gardening task was stress-reducing. However, the computer task was stress-inducing and led to a sharp rise in people’s heartbeats and blood pressure levels — and these were young men, used to working with computers.

So if you want to cut your stress levels, getting an indoor plant might be just what you need.

Sharpen Your Attention

Real plants, not those fake, plastic ones, have been shown to boost people’s attention levels. One study found that participants who studied with real plants around them concentrated better than those who studied without plants in their environment.

All the participants who were given a real plant to work alongside had better moods, based on brain-scanning data. Their concentration levels also significantly increased.

This is due to the brain’s theta waves, which cause drowsiness, and are often used as a measure of low attention or concentration. These waves were found to be significantly reduced when participants had plants to look at. The study concludes that “This finding suggests that the improved attention of the participants was attributable to the visual stimulus of the actual plants rather than general attentional stability or arousal.”

Now we have an excellent reason to take a few minutes to appreciate the natural beauty of plants. Add some more plants to your office or workplace and watch how your team’s attention rises, keeping everyone going through until the end of the workday.

Therapy Without The Fees

If you have a mental illness, even stress and anxiety, indoor gardening is helpful. One group of researchers used horticultural therapy with hospital patients suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental health conditions.

Some of the activities involved having a plant in their room, on-ward gardening, and off-site community gardening. Of all the volunteers who participated in the program, 83% rated the activities as “helpful,” “mostly helpful,” or “extremely helpful.” Other benefits reported to the therapy team included reductions in stress, restlessness, and feelings of general wellbeing.

Therefore, having some plants around the office or workspace and allowing people to maintain them in their free time may be very beneficial. It could help reduce their stress and anxiety. Another possibility is having an “away day” that involves planting plants. This could bring everyone together, developing relationships while destressing team members.

Recover Faster

It might sound surprising, but researchers have concluded that looking at plants can help you recover from an illness, injury, even surgery. The study looked at a range of previous research and specifically researched the effects of plants in a hospital. All the findings were compiled, and some interesting results emerged.

According to the report, “There is considerable evidence that restorative effects of nature scenes are manifested within only three to five minutes as a combination of psychological/emotional and physiological changes. Concerning the first, psychological/emotional, many views of vegetation or garden-like features elevate levels of positive feelings (pleasantness, calm), and reduce negatively toned emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness”.

In addition to this, the report also found that “Certain nature scenes effectively sustain interest and attention, and accordingly can serve as pleasant distractions that may diminish stressful thoughts. Regarding physiological manifestations of stress recovery, laboratory and clinical investigations have found that viewing nature settings can produce significant restoration within less than five minutes as indicated by positive changes, for instance, in blood pressure, heart activity, muscle tension, and brain electrical activity”.

So there you have it, those little plants really can support your health and can help you recover from illnesses, and they only need five minutes of your time to have a positive effect.

Boost Your Productivity

According to the University of Berkeley, plants can boost productivity. In their study, a whole range of environmental factors were found to impact positively or negatively on a team’s creativity. One of the easiest ways of improving your work environment is by adding some plants.

Plants lift the mood of the office, they enhance the style of your workplace, and people develop bonds with them, watching the plants grow with time.

Another study, which focused on the impact of plants on creative task performance, again revealed that plants significantly support both mood and task performance. In this study, three room arrangements were used: one with a plant in the room, one with a magazine rack, and one with neither a plant nor a magazine rack.

Students then carried out a word association task. The results show that performance scores were higher in the rooms that had plants. So, just by having a plant in your room, you can increase your work performance.

Cleaner Air

Plants clean much more than just carbon dioxide from the air. They also work hard to clear contaminants and pollutants, including formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, ammonia, alcohols, and acetone. These toxic chemicals are found almost everywhere in offices, from printers and photocopiers to carpeting and paper towels.

With the number of activities that go on every day in an office — which involve printing, copying, walking on carpets, wiping surfaces with paper towels, etc. — it is no surprise how trace amounts of these chemicals can quickly accumulate. Moderate levels of some of these toxins lead to nose and throat irritation, an inability to think clearly, resulting in feelings of discomfort and stress. High levels of these contaminants, such as formaldehyde, are linked to respiratory damage and cancer.

Therefore, having plants in the office can improve the health of your staff, enabling them to focus on their activities while preventing serious and long-term illnesses.

Get all the health benefits of plants, and then enhance the style of your workplace with our elegant indoor plant pots.