9 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Indoor Plants
What does it mean to be healthy? Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and high-quality supplements? Daily weight training or a long run?
When it comes to being healthy, most of us automatically think of what we eat and how often we exercise. But there is another important factor to consider if you are trying to be as healthy as possible: the air you breathe.
Did you know the air we breathe inside can actually be more polluted than the air outside? This can be a problem considering we spend up to 85% of our life indoors.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to make the air you breathe indoors better for you: houseplants.
Beyond being beautiful and a great way to enhance your decor, houseplants can improve the quality of the air you breathe and provide other benefits as well.
9 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Houseplants
Recent research suggests that indoor plants play a vital role in contributing to a tranquil, improved living environment. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the top reasons you consider including plants as part of your home or work setting.
1. Natural Stress Relief
Are the stresses and responsibilities of life weighing you down? Have a big deadline to meet? Try adding some plants to your decor to help you relax.
Several studies have measured heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol (the stress hormone) in individuals undergoing mental stress or a tough task. The results? Being around plants created a calming effect on these individuals.
A study published by the Journal of Physiological Anthropology detailed that touching and smelling indoor plants reduced psychological and physiological stress.
Even the potting soil can help fight off anxiety and stress thanks to the microbes — dubbed “outdoorphins” — it contains. These microbes help boost your mood by releasing cytokines that promote serotonin production.
If stress reduction is your goal, here are some especially great plants to try adding to your space:
- Potted lavendar
- Snake plant
- Heart-leaf philodendron
2. Enhanced Work Environment
Adding plants to a workspace has an intriguing way of making the area more stimulating and interesting but also quieter and calmer at the same time.
Possible benefits of plants in a work setting include:
- Increased productivity
- Increased creativity
- Fewer sick days
- Fewer mistakes
- Increased sense of well-being
- Decreased stress
3. Keep Air Temperatures Down
Coming into summer, most of us are ready to crank up our air conditioning. However, plants can serve as a secret weapon for keeping your house naturally cooler.
When plants lose water during transpiration, the air around them becomes cooler and purified.
While all plants can help keep your home naturally cooler, here are some particularly great options to try:
- Ficus Tree
- Aloe Vera
- Areca Palm tree
- Golden Pothos
- Snake Plant
4. Reduce Background Noise
Plant’s leaves can reflect, diffract, and absorb background noise, making them an ideal addition to busy households or office environments.
Plants absorb sound best in spaces with hard surfaces. To make the most of the noise-reducing abilities of your plants, try positioning larger pots in several locations throughout a room, including the corners.
5. Improve Air Quality
Paint, cleaners, printer inks and toners, carpets. What do these have in common? They all give off harmful pollutants known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
VOCs can build up indoors and reduce air quality. Some of the most common indoor pollutants include:
- Carbon dioxide
Exposure to these pollutants can contribute to a series of health ailments.
How can you fight indoor air pollutants? Plants! In fact, research has shown that rooms with houseplants contain up to 60% less airborne bacteria and molds and bacteria than plant-free rooms.
6. Allergy Assistance
Since plants act as natural filters and help reduce the amount of mold and dust in rooms, they can be a serious help when it comes to fighting allergies.
When choosing a plant to fight allergies, it is important to avoid any plants with spores or pollen.
7. Convenient, Effective First Aid
Had a little too much fun in the sun? We’ve all been there.
Fresh gel from an aloe vera plant can be used as a wonderful, natural healing treatment for minor sunburns or other minor burns. Many people also swear by fresh aloe gel for a variety of skin issues.
8. Natural Humidifiers
Do you have your air conditioning going now that we are coming into summer? Most of us do. But doing so can drastically reduce indoor humidity.
To keep humidity levels within a comfortable range, look no further than houseplants. Since they release moisture during transpiration, they can help keep your space from becoming too dry. This also helps protect materials such as wood from drying out and cracking.
9. Healing Support
What is a noninvasive, natural, effective, option to complement the healing process? Yes, plants again!
Research shows that potted flowers and plants help patients feel calmer and even heal faster from injuries.
We hope our article inspires you to add some greenery to your home or office if you are not already surrounded by plants.
Do you already have plants in your home or office? If not, let us know if you are thinking of adding any and what types you hope to try.