You don’t have to be an environmental psychologist to understand that plants look attractive. But dig a little deeper beneath their beauty and you’ll discover that the benefits of interior landscaping go far beyond the aesthetic.
Recent research tells us that interior plants are good for buildings and people in a variety of subtle ways. Interior landscaping plays a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to move, work or relax.
When surrounded by plants, we feel more at ease with our surroundings. We experience less stress when there are plants around us, buildings are quieter and more relaxed but, at the same time, more stimulating and interesting. A number of studies have shown conclusively that interior landscaping has dramatic effects on the wellbeing of building occupants.
When plants are around, people in offices are more productive, take fewer sick days and make fewer mistakes. Patients in hospitals heal faster. Students perform better in exams and retain more information.
Improved Air Quality
Up to 80 to 90 percent of your time is indoors. Indoor air pollution can increase your risk for:
Stroke, by 34 percent
Ischemic Heart Disease, by 26 percent
COPD, by 22 percent
Respiratory Infections in Children, by 12 percent
Lung Cancer, by 6 percent
There’s conflicting research about whether or not plants can really purify the air. Many websites cite NASA’s popular Clean Air Study from 1989. But their research was done in a highly controlled space, and your home would need about 680 plants for the same effect.
But adding living green plants may still provide mild detoxification benefits to your home or office space.
Another office study notes that plants can remove up to 10 percent of the carbon dioxide in the air. They also found that three to six plants in the office can keep air toxins far below the recommended total. People also identify rooms with more plants as rooms with cleaner air.
Boost Your Mood, Lower Depression
When you are feeling under the weather, nothing perks you up like the gift of a plant or colourful flowers. Studies have shown that hospital patients who have flowers or plants in their room, or who look out onto a garden from their room, often recover more quickly than those who have no plants around them.
Plants help to increase our levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed. They can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding, especially when a plant you have been lovingly caring for bursts into bloom. Choose easy-to-care-for plants such as African violets (Saintpaulia). They bloom all year round with little effort.