Plants are truly magical. Boasting millions of species, all with their own unique properties and talents, these additions to our homes, not only look great and add life, but they come with a range of health benefits too.
While some thrive in the dark, others do great in the bright light, and some bloom beautiful flowers throughout the year – with an array of options to choose from, why wouldn’t anyone want office plants to brighten up their home?
COVID-19, for many of us, has forced us to set up an office at home, and while some have committed to creating a dedicated working environment, others are making do with what they have. But what all home offices could benefit from is the introduction of office plants. If you are looking to brighten up your home office then read on to discover the fascinating ways in which plants can improve your health and brighten up your workday at the same time.
Boost your mental health
Multiple studies have shown that people experience a boost in mood and generally feel more relaxed when around plants, in fact, people who live surrounded by lush nature feel happier in general. Humans lived and evolved out in nature for thousands of years, so it’s easy to see why we feel comforted around things like plants, trees and water.
If you live in a city, it can be all too easy to disconnect from nature with day after day being spent in a dark, grey, busy and gloomy environment that can easily contribute to stress and feelings of sadness. Office plants are a great way to instantly transform your office space and breathe a bit of life into it, so go out and grab some big plant pots, pick up some large plants or small trees for instant, and prolonged, gratification.
Relieve stress and anxiety
Merely looking at plants and flowers can evoke a feeling of calm and peace. Some of the greatest art known to humankind, after all, are paintings of beautiful flowers and luscious gardens. Humans enjoy observing the beauty of plants and flowers because they enhance our senses. Plants can actually cause your cortisol levels to drop, the hormone released when stressed.
One study, published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, found that participants could work more comfortably and were more relaxed around plants than without them. Other studies have found gardening can also decrease cortisol levels, making it useful for reducing stress and anxiety symptoms.
Support your immune system
Plants don’t just have the power to improve your mental health, they can help you with your physical health too, and there are two primary reasons for this.
Firstly, the mental health boost will likely help you to have better-quality sleep, and the better your sleep, the stronger your immune system. Secondly, plants emit chemicals such as phytoncides. Phytoncides are airborne anti-microbial substances that provide humans with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties support our immune system and help fight off anything from the common cold to more serious diseases.
Improve productivity levels
The research on plants being introduced into offices to improve morale and productivity is substantial. When you consider that most offices are pretty lifeless and don’t provide the most exciting place to spend your working hours, you will want to try anything to improve your environment.
Plants break up the monotony of the office space, helping to clean the air and add a splash of colour. The beautiful, luscious green leaves can help to brighten up your home office and keep you focused throughout the day. Research has also shown that green plants can significantly reduce ADHD symptoms and improve people’s attention in general.
Did you know that nearly 30% of employees get less than six hours of sleep each night? In our ever-demanding modern lives, we’re working harder and for longer and researchers have found that having plants in your office can reduce fatigue by 38%. If you find yourself falling asleep at the desk or are unmotivated to get on with your day, office plants can help. In another study, researchers discovered that people working surrounded by plants could relieve attention fatigue, even when completing demanding tasks.
Improved air quality
If you’re living in a city or large town, air quality can be a big issue. Not only are air contaminants invisible, but they can lead to disease and even be fatal when exposed to them over extended periods. Thankfully, plants can help. Plants are natural air filtration systems that are pretty good at their job.
Air pollutants, once inside your home, struggle to find their way out and they tend to stick around if not dealt with properly. Adding a few plants to your home and office will help to clean up the air, which is great to know considering that poor air quality can affect both your mental and physical health. Research has discovered that plants can remove up to 87% of the pollutants in your home, many of which are dangerous chemicals. For the best results, focus on introducing low-light indoor plants that are efficient at purifying the air.