The Power of Plants

Author: Bree Maloney, Communications Mgr

Do plants matter? Yes, in fact they DO. Not only are plants pretty to look at, but emerging evidence and studies have proven that exposure to plants and views of vegetation reduces stress, anxiety, restores attentional capacity and improves overall performance on a variety of cognitive tasks in the home and workplace. In simpler terms, plants are highly beneficial to human health and overall well-being. There are many benefits of having plants in your home and workspace. Introducing plants to an office environment creates more of a welcome and calming environment and reduces stress.

I read a research paper that studied a team of 60 office workers who each experienced a plant and no-plant condition during the spring months. In the first year, 30 workers were exposed to plants on their desk and large floor-plants near and around their workspace. In the second year of the study, the roles were reversed and the plants were moved to the no-plants group. The researchers studied employee’s health symptoms using a standardized instrument that measured: skin problems, mucous membrane and neuropsychological symptoms. After the study was concluded, they reviewed the results and it was astounding. Fatigue, dry throat, dry skin, anxiety and concentration problems had all decreased when plants were present, some up to 30 percent! The researchers suggest that the health improvements were likely due to two mechanisms: improved air quality and the psychological value of being in a more pleasing environment. Studies have shown that plants can positively influence air quality, removing up to 87 percent of air toxins and eliminating a minimum of 300 grams of carbon dioxide.

Which plants do best in an office environment? Great question! Keeping plants in an office environment requires some forethought due to certain conditions such as light, air conditioning and periods where the office is empty. Plants that thrive in an office are:

1. Aloe

2. Succulents

3. Ivy

4. Rubber Plants

5. Cactus

6. Peace Lily

7. Orchid

What does your workspace look like? Do you have plants on or around your desk? If you answered no, then go green! Buy some plants at your local nursery or hardware store today!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

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