According to a new study commissioned by the organization The Joy of Plants for the launch of the Houseplant Hideout in London, people feel happier and more productive when surrounded by houseplants. These benefits might arise from the soothing effects of the green color, combined with the opportunity to provide care for living beings.
A study of 2,000 British adults found that the perfect working environment should include a selection of plants, bright colors, and decorative stationery. Over half of the survey participants said they feel more productive when surrounded by plants, while two-thirds claimed that plants have a positive impact on their mental health.
Almost three-quarters of the participants had an average of five houseplants in their homes. Many of these individuals expressed that the plants have a calming effect (45 percent), add color to the environment (44 percent), and improve the quality of indoor air (39 percent). Some of them even speak to their houseplants (23 percent), or put music on for them (20 percent).
“As a botanist, I am fascinated by the growing body of scientific evidence which supports what this new consumer research highlights – that being around plants can measurably improve both mental and physical health,” said study lead author James Wong, an ethnobotanist, presenter, and garden designer. “The effect of houseplants seems to work on a number of inter-related levels and the best thing is that the only side effect of this therapy is having a beautiful home.”
According to Wong, the rich green color characterizing houseplants can reduce stress levels and pain, and improve feelings of self-worth. Furthermore, having a living thing to nurture and focus on could act in a similar way to mindfulness exercises, and relieve feelings of anxiety and tension.
“The research stats prove what we’ve often thought – having plants in the home helps moods and productivity,” a spokesman for the Joy of Plants said. “It’s no secret being outdoors and surrounded by nature often helps improve mental health and decrease stress levels and it’s great to see that bringing the outdoors in has a similar effect.”
“Particularly when working, which many of us have been doing from home the past year and a half, people clearly like to have a plant nearby, not only for productivity but also to boost their mood,” he concluded.
The Houseplant Hideout in Shoreditch in London is open between 7th and 10th October.
By Andrei Ionescu, Earth.com Staff Writer