Stress in the office, never heard of it, right? Wrong! In fact, aren’t the words stress and office synonyms? In a lot of cases, the answer is yes, but all kidding aside, did you know having plants in the office space reduces stress? It does. Significantly! It not only decreases stress, it increases productivity, makes the office more comfortable, and environmentally awesome. Here are some great reasons why it would be beneficial to incorporate greenery into your office.
Helen Russell from the Surrey University in the U.K., master’s environmental psychology student set out to find scientific proof that plants in the office can reduce stress. In her study, Russell asked participants to take a difficult test in a room filled with plants, and compared their skin conductivity, heart rate and blood pressure with people who completed the same test without plants. Russell’s findings showed that plants eased stress for participants by at least this metric, and that participants recovered from stress more quickly in a plant-heavy environment.
In a study published in the “Journal of Environmental Horticulture,” researchers from Washington StateUniversity reported that live interior plants helped workers complete tasks with more focus and efficiency. Researchers found that productivity increased by 12 percent in the presence of plants. Additionally, people tested in the room with plants reported feeling about 10 percent more attentive after the task than those tested without plants.
Improves Indoor Air Quality
Growing live plants in the office can help clean the air and even improve your health, according to a NASA study. In 1973, NASA scientists identified 107 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air inside the Skylab space station. Occupants often suffered from burning eyes and respiratory difficulties, later learned to be two of the most common symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome. B.C. “Bill” Wolverton, an environmental scientist working with the U.S. military, discovered that swamp plants actually eliminated Agent Orange from water samples. Expanding on this idea, Wolverton tested out the use of houseplants as a means of improving indoor air quality and discovered growing plants indoors helps eliminate VOCs from the air. Also found, was that people recovered from illness faster in the presence of plants.
Make Rooms More Comfortable
The recommended humidity range for human health and comfort is between 30 and 60 percent. Many offices fall short of these figures, especially in the summer and winter months. Low interior humidity can lead to increased fatigue, respiratory discomfort and an overall drop in workplace well-being. When plants are added to a room, the relative humidity rose significantly, but not excessively. In one case, relative humidity without plants averaged 25 percent, and with plants it averaged 30 percent – bringing the room into the ideal comfort range.
So what are you waiting for? We think it’s time to turn your office into a more healthy, productive and stress free place where the only thing you have to worry about now is your overdriven undereducated boss who thinks they’re funny!