How office plants can help reduce workplace stress
Stressed at work? Some green, leafy office plants could form an important part of a broader stress management plan. Research shows that when we interact with plants in our indoor environments, it can reduce stress.
Read on to find out more about the research as well as what plants are the most beneficial when it comes to creating a calm, green oasis in your office.
The relationship between stress, plants and soil
Have you ever had the urge to reach out and feel a plant’s leaves? According to research published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with (for example touching and smelling) indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress.
In addition, the soil around the roots of your office plants contains a strain of microbes called mycobacterium vaccae. These can stimulate the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps to regulate sleep, digestion, memory and mood. Increased levels of serotonin have been shown to contribute to improved metal health. So next time you press your finger into the soil around your plants to check whether they need water, remember you’re doing something good for yourself too!
The link between indoor air quality and stress
Researchers conducting a study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the perceived levels of stress in their study’s participants rose when they were exposed to air pollutants. The good news is that when you populate a room with plants, you improve its air quality.
This is because plants excrete oxygen and absorb gases and volatile organic compounds nearby. Scientific American reports that plants not only help to reduce stress but can also help to increase productivity. Read more about air quality, plants and winter wellness here.
We might all have biophilia
According to some scientists an instinctive desire to connect with the natural environment, or biophilia, is coded into our physiology and psychology. According to this theory, filling your office with plants is only natural! Working near indoor plants is the next best thing to being out in nature. Could this explain why we love the way plants look and why we feel calm in lush green interiors? It just might.
The best plants to give someone who’s stressed
If you’d like to give a plant gift to someone who has a lot on their schedule and might be feeling stressed there are lots of good options.
Aloe Vera makes for a thoughtful present. It’s a great air purifier and because it’s a succulent it’s easy to care for and doesn’t require much watering.
Peace lilies with their beautiful white flowers and glossy leaves, look gorgeous, and act as great air purifiers too. These thrive in office environments and could be just the thing to brighten up a colleague’s desk or a client’s day.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, ask for help
Creating an environment that helps you and your colleagues feel calm is an important part of good stress management but if you’re feeling overwhelmed it might be time to talk to your colleagues about workload or to a health professional about the way you’re feeling. A good first step could be investigating the resources on the Ministry of Health’s website here.
Make plants your go-to gift: register your business for free to receive a 10% corporate discount on all your orders. To register or find out more, contact the Give & Grow team