March 30th, 2017|0 Comments

By Suah Cheong, American Forests

Credit: Olena Shmahalo

Indoor plants have undeniably returned as a top décor trend. Whether you see spider plants lining the windows of clothing stores or succulents being featured in your social media feeds, houseplants are everywhere.

While plants effectively liven up indoor spaces, they also come with several other benefits. Here are five ways houseplants can help you maintain your health!

They purify the air
Research conducted by NASA shows that indoor plants play an important role in air quality improvement. Aside from helping us breathe by recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen during photosynthesis, plants have the ability to lower levels of chemicals like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde that are commonly found in indoor spaces. NASA recommends having one plant per 100 square feet of indoor space.

They increase humidity
During transpiration, plants release moisture from the small pores in their leaves, increasing humidity levels around them. In fact, plants are known to release about 97 percent of the moisture they take in. According to a study from the Agricultural University of Norway, having indoor plants not only soothes dry skin and decreases the likelihood of common colds, but also helps prevent respiratory disease.

They sharpen your focus
Indoor plants can also improve your memory and concentration. The College of Agriculture and Life Science at Texas A&M University found that, “Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature.”

They accelerate the healing process
Researchers at Kansas State University found that the presence of plants in hospital rooms can speed up recovery of surgical patients. In their study, patients who had plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure, asked for less pain medication, felt less anxious and were released sooner than those without any indoor plant exposure.

They make you happier
Indoor plants have proven benefits to your mental health and overall outlook on life. Another study conducted at Texas A&M University found that, “people who spend time outside every day are less likely to be depressed or stressed, and thus have fewer burdens on their mental health.” Natural aesthetic beauty is soothing to people, and keeping plants around your home or office is a simple way to lower your stress and anxiety levels.