The Jakarta Post
An international team of researchers found in 2014 that people who worked in offices with leafy green plants displayed higher levels of concentration and productivity than their counterparts in spartan offices without them. (Shutterstock/File)
Researchers have found that having plants in your workspace could reduce stress levels and sick days, according to the Independent.
The spread of illnesses in the workplace is commonly caused by poor ventilation as well as chemicals used in office furniture, which include formaldehyde, benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene. Some cleaning products even contain ammonia.
Researchers say that simply investing in some greenery would help clear the air of toxic chemicals.
The New York Times, meanwhile, has reported a trend called “biophilic design,” in which architects largely incorporate greenery into homes and workplaces to create health-promoting spaces for people to live and work.
Environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagen noted in an online post: “More time and creativity has gone into designing habitats for zoo animals than in creating comfortable office spaces for humans.”
Offices can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which results in the spread of viruses. However, plant-associated bacteria can help prevent outbreaks of pathogens and balance the complex network of the ecosystem. This balance has the potential to reduce viral illnesses, and thus the number of sick days among workers.
An international team of researchers found in 2014 that people who worked in offices with leafy green plants displayed higher levels of concentration and productivity than their counterparts in spartan offices without them.
A more recent NASA study demonstrated that having certain types of plants—including Areca palm, aloe vera, lady palms and weeping figs—at home could keep the doctor away.
In addition to purifying the air, a plant-rich environment can reduce stress as studies have found that nature promotes feelings of relaxation and calmness, keeping cortisol levels low. (afr/kes)