Can growing houseplants really help turn our homes, schools and workplaces into better places to be? It is a question that numerous scientific studies have explored and results are now shedding light on the matter. Indoor plants offer two potential benefits for us: improved psychological (mental) well-being and improved physical human health (i.e. they support fitness and general health).
The psychological benefits of indoor plants have been shown as:
- An improved mood
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased worker productivity (adding plants to office environments in particular)
- Increased speed of reaction in a computer task
- Improved attention span (in some scientific studies, but not all)
- Increased pain tolerance (for example, where plants were used in hospital settings)
The physical health benefits of indoor plants have been shown as:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced fatigue and headaches by 20-25 percent in one study
- Patients in hospital rooms with plants reported decreased post-operative pain
- It is worth noting that the effect of plant species and cultivar differences has not been specifically investigated.