Green friends are so much more than just ornamental decoration – they could give you the health kick you need for 2021.
Ever thought your penchant for plants was becoming a little unhealthy? Well there’s no such thing in our opinion – in fact, health and houseplants go hand-in-hand. From potted palms that purify the air to cool and collected cacti that calm you when you’re nervous, our green friends boast a variety of benefits for both your body and mind. According to research, spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing (nature.com) – and there’s no need to feel excluded if you’re a city dweller, as just looking at greenery within the home will help too. It’s really no wonder we’re keen to bring a bit of the great outdoors into our home in the form of plants. Here are just some the benefits they possess.
They’re air purifying
You may not consider pollution a problem that’s associated with your home, but data suggest that every year over 4 million people worldwide die prematurely due to indoor air pollution (rhs.org.uk). This is caused by a variety of factors from how you heat your home to the chemicals in household products. Commonly found toxins include formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide – but breathe easy, knowing that some plants will remove these nasties. If that wasn’t impressive enough, they also can also increase oxygen levels and reduce airborne dust levels so you’re inhaling healthier air.
They’re mood boosters
You know those days where everything seems blooming wonderful? It’s no coincidence should you have been in the company of plants. Research shows that employees who work in the presence of plants tend to feel happier about their jobs, worry less, and even take less sick days (webmd.com).
It’s common to feel a little anxious at the start a new year, but this is where plants can help. In fact, a Japanese study suggested that merely looking at a plant is enough to improve mental health at work (hriherbalmedicine.co.uk). We’re sold! Further serene benefits of plants include lower blood pressure, heart rate and a reduction of that dreaded stress hormone, cortisol.
They make you more productive
Beat procrastination with a plant – yes, really! Adding colour and greenery to your desk space can increase your productivity and creativity by serving you with a source of inspiration. This is because plants are proven to enhance focus – impressively studies have shown that attentiveness is increased by 70 per cent when they are present in a room.
They boost your immune system
January is notoriously a time for feeling a little under the weather – probably due to overindulging at Christmas and feeling run down and tired. Step away from the paracetamol and OJ, and find remedy in the form of a plant as they are known to give your immune system a helping hand. Partly linked to the mindful and relaxing impact plants have, as when you’re better rested and feeling relaxed, your immune system works better.
They promote healing
Whilst you may think taking a plant or bunch of flowers to a poorly relative in hospital is nothing more than a symbol of compassion and kindness, it could actually help them to recover quicker. A study conducted at Kansas State University recommends them as a “non-invasive, inexpensive, and effective complementary medicine for surgical patients.” The results concluded that when plants are visible, patients recovering from surgery will experience less anxiety, and fatigue compared to those without plants in their rooms.