Plants are more popular than ever before and the 'Urban Jungle' trend is not only taking over entire cities, but it also dominates your social media feed. But can growing houseplants really help turn our homes and workplaces into better places to be? And what if you’re just not one of those green thumb plant moms or -dads that like to spend their time on green housemates?
Then you should still continue reading and consider these number of health benefits of having plants in your home or office. It is definitely worth having these plant benefits that enhance your health. Because besides looking good, research suggests that houseplants support human health and productivity improvement. Isn’t a healthy climate at home worth that little bit of your time?
The Benefits of Houseplants
Plant benefits such as enhancing the overall appearance of your space, boosting your mood, increasing your creativity, reducing stress, and eliminating air pollutants, make you happier and healthier. And all of that for a small sacrifice in time for watering and feeding your plants. You’d be surprised at how many apps there are for that! Here are the science-backed, proven benefits that might just convince you to go along with the Urban Jungle trend.
1. Plants Help Improve Your Mental Health
Research has shown that people that live around nature feel much happier than those who don’t. These effects aren’t only for those who live in the countryside. When you feel down, it’s amazing what a walk in a park can do. Surrounding yourself with plants in your home or office will also do the trick. Time spent in green spaces reduces our mental fatigue, increases relaxation, and improves our cognition. So when houseplants make you think of the outdoors, your brain picks that up and incoming.. all these amazing benefits!
The patient ambiance around plants breathes a sense of peace. They don’t care about your busy social schedule and upcoming deadlines, they just patiently sit there and grow.
Photos by @plantkween
Besides their calming nature, a plant’s air quality benefit is something to really be amazed by. With their release of oxygen into the air, they take up carbon dioxide and create a naturally more beneficial living space for you. It results in feeling less fatigued and cloudy.
Worried about plants being time-consuming? Look for those that need less care. Cacti, Aloe Vera, Zamioculcas, and Sansevieria are a few in that category.
2. Your Immune System Gets a Boost
A good immune system is essential for good health. Some plants are known to assist and even strengthen our immune system. For example, plants help to give your body a boost during the flu season. We’re not only talking about physical health but also your mental health.
When you think of it, it all sounds quite reasonable. When you benefit more and better sleep because of the pure air in your home, you feel more relaxed and your body can better cope with fighting viruses.
But again, that is not the only trick that plants have up their (s)leaves.. (pun intended). Bringing plants into your home comes with phytochemicals and other airborne chemicals. These human-friendly chemicals help reduce the amount of stress you experience. Lowering your stress level helps to give your immune system a natural boost.
Norwegian studies show that illnesses drop by 60% through the use of plants in a home. Worthwhile investing, don't you think?
3. Plants Improve Your Productivity
A work environment that is decorated with green plants and any other form of personalization, is proven to be a more productive workspace. It motivates us and inspires us during the workday. Mental health suffers if you’re not stimulated in a space you want to be in. This results in feeling more stressed and unmotivated, hard to get out of work mode at the end of the day.
Have you ever felt like you just can’t work? It’s all about the way your home is decorated. Those that have more pictures, decorations, and plants have proven to be more productive workspaces. You get reminders of why you’re working and the goals you have in life.
Photos by @mr.cenzura
Plus, there are mental health benefits. Spaces without any form of personalization can be demotivating and dull. You end up with a space that you’re not interested in and that makes the mental health suffer. You feel more stressed and anxious, finding it hard to get out of work mode at the end of the day. There isn’t this feeling of fulfillment afterward.
Just a couple of plants will help to create that positive workspace. Notice that this will really help you gain a better mind space.
4. Do Plants Help You Improve Your Relationships?
Unlike what you see in romantic comedies, maintaining a thriving relationship takes some effort. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Wouldn’t you love to find a way to improve the relationships in your life?
Plants might be the answer! When taking care of plants, you create a form of empathy. This leads to a sense of compassion for other organisms in your life.
Plants help you to feel less lonely while adding a living thing to your living area. They are especially beneficial for those who have little social contact, for example, people that are mostly homebound. You should really talk to your plants. The more, the merrier!
5. They Improve Your Learning Abilities
Now more than ever with people working from home or socially distanced at the office, everyone is looking for ways to stay energized and focused. It is proven that having plants in a work environment improves one’s ability to concentrate and thus your learning abilities. This is certainly linked to the earlier mentioned productivity boost by plants.
People who surround themselves with plant life experience a wide range of cognitive and mental health benefits. These include enhanced concentration and memory, stress reduction, and increased energy levels, and lead to overall positive moods and perceived quality of life.
Because of the calming nature of plants, both adults and children will gain benefits by having them in their homes. It will help increase the focus on work and school tasks. Plus the phytochemicals help to settle the mind, creating a safer space and environment for them to learn. Hence, people are more open to the tasks at hand. This then leads to improving the focus and ability to master a subject.
6. They Improve Your Air Quality
While you can open the window to get all bacteria and viruses out, you can also use plants to improve the air quality. Having houseplants helps tackle the pollutants in the air and immediately rectify the balance. With the absorption of toxic substances found in man-made materials that are known to off-gas pollutants into the air in your home, school, and office, plants help you inhale clean air again. In addition, a study done at Virginia Tech led researchers to conclude that houseplants can reduce indoor dust by up to 20%. All and all, houseplants are efficient air cleaners.
NASA has done extensive studies of the role of houseplants in cleansing the air as well. Their studies have shown that certain houseplants are exceptionally good at purifying the air. While not all of us have room for a lot of plants, even just a few can be effective. Dr. Virginia Lohr, a professor of horticulture at Washington State University, suggests that filling as little as 2% of the room with plants will make an impact.
7. Plants Increase the Humidity
Improved air quality helps set the quality of life in your home and office. As plants release almost all of the water they have taken in, this will help improve your air quality and your health. Dry air can lead to problems such as irritation in the lungs. Moisturization on a daily basis is more important than we all would like to admit. Having plants will take care of that humidity increase in your air. What does it want in return? Absolutely nothing.
Adding a plant as a bedroom accessory will help people counter insomnia. The constant release of water during the night will keep the humidity continuously at the right level. At the same time, plants soak up some of the water as an extra, to use at a later moment. Place a plant in the bathroom or kitchen and you will notice this as an improvement in your breathing health.
Plants Make People Happier, and Healthier
Why wait with adding plants to your home or office space? Each one of the above benefits is proven by researchers to have a positive effect on your health. Plants do make people happier!
It’s time to realize that they will make you healthier as well. Get your green plants to boost your mood, increase your productivity, reduce stress, eliminate air pollutants, and create a healthier living environment.