Five Houseplant Benefits You May Not Have Heard Of
Plants benefit us in many ways. From providing life’s essentials (food, shelter, fuel, etc.), to decorating homes, plants are essential to our lives. Houseplants are especially important to us; however, many of their benefits can be overlooked. Below are some benefits of houseplants cited in Virginia Lohr’s scientific literature review: What Are the Benefits of Plants Indoors and Why Do We Respond Positively to Them?
1. Improved Air Quality
This may be surprising, but plants can actually remove indoor pollutants. Certain houseplants and their micro-organisms are known to break down benzene, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds that cause headaches, nausea, allergies and other the symptoms of sick building syndrome. Houseplants are also known to affect indoor humidity which is important for your air quality and health. Lohr cites a study that found that a small amount of plants can raise a room’s relative humidity at least 5%. Considering that colds are more frequent when indoor humidity is low, it’s likely that your houseplants can help keep you well. Great information for those with weaker immune systems.
2. Increased Happiness
You know that feeling you get when you’ve finished decorating your dream home after tens of hours searching for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram? You feel accomplished, happy, and motivated, which is actually similar to how plants can make you feel. According to Lohr, studies show that plants create a carefree, playful, friendly, and affectionate environment. A type of environment that can lead to increased happiness and an improved quality of life.
3. Reduced Stress
Being stress-free is almost unheard of, but houseplants can help. Yes, its true. Studies show that “interior plants evoke stress reducing effects that are similar to those evoked by nature.” Lohr cites a study that says, “people recover from stress more quickly when viewing slides or videotapes of nature than when viewing images of urban scenes.” Houseplants are a great natural stress-reducing alternative for those without views of nature.
4. Increased Productivity
Yes, houseplants also increase productivity. Houseplants have been shown to improve focus and concentration as well as memory. Combine that with less stress and you’re more likely to be more productive. Specifically, Lohr cites a study that found that “reaction time in the presence of plants was 12% faster than in the absence of plants, indicating that plants contributed to increased productivity.” Houseplants also reduce mental fatigue, which is great for productivity. Lohr also cites a study conducted on students that showed that mental fatigue is reduced when overlooking nature from their dorm rooms–I wish I knew that during my undergrad.
5. Increased Pain Tolerance
This is a bizarre one… Houseplants have been found to increase your pain tolerance. Lohr states, “pain tolerance is also increased in the presence of interior plants among people who are not in acute pain.” Another study showed that “perceptions of physical discomfort were lower in the room with plants than in the room without plants.”
Houseplants are more than just a decoration that you have in your home or office. They improve our quality of life by creating a better indoor environment. Considering that 80-90% of our time is spent indoors, owning a houseplant or two is essential to one's health and wellness.
Edited by Erin Sowell
We developed Tera, the natural air purifier, to enhance the benefits of your houseplants. Tera combines your plant, air flow, and activated carbon to purify the air near you. Interested in licensing our design? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.