Ever have that feeling there isn’t enough time in your working day? Feel like time is constantly looking over your shoulder? A plant on your desk could be the perfect work stress relief you’ve been looking for. Problems solved.
Okay, well not all your problems. It can’t do your work for you and won’t improve the economic climate, but it could leave you feeling less stressed. It may seem like a far-fetched idea, but there are researchers who advocate the magical powers of our green friends.
Dr Roger Ulrich, an environmental psychologist, found that exposure to plants is a great way to quickly reduce stress within five minutes. While psychologist Dr David Lewis believes looking at a plant for 15 minutes can reduce mental and physical strain by up to 60%. I’m not entirely sure staring longingly at a plant will please your boss and it may make you the workplace weirdo, but having a glance every once in a while can’t hurt I’m sure.
Having plants in the workplace can also have other health benefits too. A study conducted by environmental psychology expert Dr Tina Bringslimark, found plants in the workplace reduced fatigue, dry throats, headaches, coughs and dry skin among workers. They found workers who could see more plants than others in the workplace took less sick leave.
Research by Dr Virginia Lohr found participants were more productive and had quicker reaction times of 12%. Dust levels were also reduced by up to 20%. Not only do they brighten the place up, they cleanse the air of pollutants using their leaves and emit more oxygen.
In colour therapy, green is the colour for calm too. If you believe in the practice of Feng Shui, it suggests the colour green is great for creativity. Feng Shui believes plants can be used to help the flow of Chi by placing plants in empty spaces. While bringing in an odd number of plants are said to induce a positive energy.
The general message is plants appear to do wonders for your wellbeing and your working environment. You’ll still have to make those dreaded deadlines, but at least you’ll make them with a smile on your face.
Do you think plants could create a stress free working environment? Tell us in the comments section below.