5 Ways in Which Plants Can Improve Our Everyday Lives

Even if we’re not big fans of the “getting in touch with nature” idea, it’s hard to argue against plants brightening up our homes and places of work. What’s interesting is that there’s a growing body of evidence that plants can actually improve our health in significant and specific ways. Here are five reasons to put plants back into our living and work spaces.

1. Plants Can Improve Our Productivity

New research from a team at the University of Exeter in the UK finds that, while stripping our offices of unneeded furnishings might be beneficial, keeping plants in the office to create so-called green spaces can boost worker productivity by as much as 15 percent. The reasons for this aren’t certain but plants appear to improve general wellbeing, something that’s been established by other research, and also might help people to better engage with their environment — obviously, a more engaged worker will probably be more focused and efficient.

2. A Pot Plant in Our Homes Can Improve Our Mood  and Lower Anxiety

Studies show that looking after and enjoying indoor plants can help to boost our mood and even lower our levels of anxiety. This is down to a couple of things, including that natural aesthetic beauty seems to have a positive impact on our moods and can even reduce stress-related depression. There’s also research to suggest that house plants can even make us feel more optimistic and improve our general health outlook.

3. Indoor Plants Improve Our Air Quality

NASA research shows that having plants indoors can help to improve air and water quality in our living spaces. That research was done on sealed units but there is some evidence that this translates to normal houses and buildings, at least to some degree. Obviously, for people with asthma and other breathing conditions this would be important, but for the rest of us cleaner air can also affect us in positive ways, such as improving the quality of our sleep.

4. Plants Can Reduce Stress for People Recovering from Illness

Hospital stays can be very stressful, but Dutch researchers have found that one way of helping patients feel more relaxed is to incorporate unobtrusive plants into their hospital rooms. The researchers found that plants are particularly good at improving the perceived attractiveness of a room and that this, it seems, can help improve the patient’s hospital stay experience. Other research has also indicated a similar, wellbeing boosting effect, possibly down to what is known as biophilia, an hypothesis that we have a natural inclination towards greener, plant-filled spaces.

5. Caring for Plants Can Improve Our Quality of Life

Research published in the journal HortTechnology showed that when senior citizens living in low-income assisted-living facilities had plants to care for and cultivate, they were more likely to self-report better health than those who didn’t have plants to look after. The reasons for this marked upturn in positive health perceptions appears to be that the plants give the elderly something to care for and thus a sense of being needed, things that they might not have experienced very much in their later years. Renewing this sense of responsibility and purpose led to improved wellbeing which, while perhaps not improving physical ailments, may give a new perspective and more resilience.

How to Get the Maximum Benefits From Your Indoor Plants

To maximize the health benefits and improved sense of wellbeing research suggests that a mix of different indoor plants is best. This will allow for color, variety and could help to give our homes cleaner air. If you’d like suggestions for what house plants you can grow at home for little to no cost and maximum benefit, please click here.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

62 comments

Guillermo U.
Guillermo Uabout a year ago

WE NEED TO PROTECT OR LOOSE OUR ANIMALS.

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Guillermo U.
Guillermo Uabout a year ago

Are you with me or not people's.

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Guillermo U.
Guillermo Uabout a year ago

Cruelty to animals is not asset able

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Angela Malafouris

Need to get another cactus! I over watered my previous one! It is truly great to have something green in the same space you live and breathe!

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Ana R
ANA MARIJA R3 years ago

♡Thank you.

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Lukasz Maj
Lukasz Maj3 years ago

thank you

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Azaima A.
Azaima A3 years ago

and we just thought they were pretty

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Kristen belue
Kristen belue3 years ago

ty

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Vicky P.
Vicky P3 years ago

thanks

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