An idea that’s being planted in more and more offices, senior care centers and homes is one that may surprise you: namely, the benefits of indoor plants. Studies show that being close to plants may reduce stress.
Research has shown that blood pressure and skin conductivity may benefit from the presence of plants in close proximity and that people in offices with plants recover from stress faster than those in unplanted offices.
The effect is shown to be more significant in offices where the tasks being performed are repetitive may not require high levels of concentration.
Studies in the U.S. show plants can improve workplace productivity by reducing stress and improving attentiveness. A number of studies also show that plants can reduce the incidence of minor health complaints in the working environment.
In a Norwegian study, after plants were added to trial office environments, staff complaints about:
• Fatigue were reduced by 30 percent
• Headaches were reduced by 25 percent
• Dry throats were reduced by 30 percent
• Coughing were reduced by 40 percent
• Skin irritation were reduced by 25 percent.
This research is believed to show that plants to have such a dramatic effect because they both improve indoor air quality and people’s perception of the building.
Today, horticultural therapy blooms as a profession and a practice. The American Horticultural Therapy Association reports that “horticultural therapy is not only an emerging profession; it is a time-proven practice.” Nurturing and caring for plants is a highly interactive and satisfying experience for people of any age, particularly for seniors.
As a way of giving back to the elderly care community, Initial Tropical Plants, the largest provider of interior landscape created the Grassroots Senior Healing program while shining a spotlight on the healing benefits of taking care of plants. They donates plants, containers and volunteers at low-income senior citizen centers and demonstrate the healing benefits of the seniors tending to interior plants.
Typically, buildings with a good amount of plants also have less airborne dust than unplanted ones. The effect is mainly due to increased humidity and static electricity. Plants are slightly negatively charged compared with their surroundings and will attract positively charged dust particles, reducing the number in the air and on surrounding surfaces.