Sep 05, 2022
The trend of people living in urban areas starting to add plants into their living spaces is on the rise, with most opting for indoor plants due to having limited outdoor and garden space. Besides the great aesthetics they add to one’s home, what are the real benefits of indoor plants? According to WHO (World Health Organization), millions of people die due to air pollution related illnesses every year, but did you know that most of the air pollution happens indoors and not outdoors? Indoor air pollution increases even more in winter due to less ventilation (closing doors and windows), as we try to keep warm. Indoor plants help counter indoor air pollution by producing more oxygen for us to breathe in and clearing toxins in the air.
Here are five (5) benefits of indoor plants and how they can improve both your physical and mental wellbeing:
- Improve the air quality in your house
Most air pollution happens indoors due to the air indoors containing a mixture of all the outdoor pollutants which fill the air through open doors and windows, and indoor pollutants caused by household items and consumables such as gas stoves, gas heaters, fridges, detergents, paints, aerosols and many other volatile organic compounds that are emitted by furnishings. Indoor plants help counter and reduce indoor air pollution by releasing oxygen and have been proven to reduce air toxins by over 80%.
- Assists in recovering from respiratory illnesses and injury
The indoor air pollutants can cause reactions such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue, irritability, chest tightness and wheezing, and skin dryness and/or irritation. All these symptoms would negatively impact the recovery process of someone with a respiratory illness or who sustained an injury. Indoor plants will help clear the air and help reduce the toxins that cause these symptoms, and ultimately aid recovery.
- Can help reduce stress levels
Studies have proven that caring for an indoor plant can help reduce stress as it promotes soothing, feelings of comfort and being connected to nature which improve your overall mood. Reduced stress levels also lead to a reduction in high blood pressure which means the risk for heart disease and stroke is also reduced.
- Boost your productivity
Indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity because it reduces stress levels and generally improves one’s mood. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, indoor spaces with plants have also proven to increase the reaction time and alertness of the people working in those spaces.
- Improve your work environment
With more people returning to work at their offices, it is important to note that one of the studied physical benefits of indoor plants is reducing fatigue and headaches. This is usually a result of a boost in productivity and reduced stress levels, as mentioned in the previous points. Therefore, your work experience and how much you enjoy your work environment can be greatly improved, as indoor plants are one of the elements that stimulate you to perform at your best when at work.
Indoor plants serve aesthetic, health and practical benefits in your life, so never underestimate how much a little house or office desk plant can do for you. For people allergic to plant-based substances such as pollen, or if your respiratory illness symptoms are triggered by dampness, mould or fungi, make sure to remove the plant and consult with a doctor should you start experiencing any allergic reaction symptoms. You will, however, be pleased to know that most indoor plants have very little pollen, and you can control the soil dampness and manage the soil regularly to avoid mould or fungi. Visit your nearest nursery and find out which indoor plant is best for you!
Royal Horticultural Society: https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/types/houseplants/for-human-health
National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419447/
Spec Savers: https://www.specsavers.co.za/post/health-and-wellbeign/the-health-benefits-of-indoor-plants
NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/indoor-plants-can-instantly-boost-your-health-happiness-ncna781806
WHO (World Health Organization): https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1