Green Living

The Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

Health Benefits of Indoor Plants

There are plenty of reasons to add plants to your space, but did you know health benefits are one of them?

From air purification to stress reduction, filling your home with houseplants is an easy way to increase happiness and promote healthful living.

With 16 million new indoor and outdoor gardeners in 2021 alone, more and more of us are realizing the multitude of benefits plants can bring. If you’re looking for even more reasons to grow your plant collection, here’s how incorporating fresh greenery into your home can benefit your health.

Plants Reduce Stress

In 2010, a Japanese study explored the effects of Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” The study concluded that spending time in nature lowered stress levels, reduced blood pressure, and had an overall relaxing effect on the body. However, most of us spend 85% of our time indoors and can’t wander through a forest every day to destress.

Luckily, houseplants are an easy way to bring the outside in and reap the restorative, calming effects of nature. A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology showed that active interactions with houseplants—like pruning, touching, and smelling—have the same relaxing and stress-reducing effects as spending time in a forest.

Woman admiring Bird of Paradise leaf.

So next time you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just in a bad mood, go and spend time enjoying your plants!

Plants Improve Air Quality

NASA’s famous air purification study highlighted that one of the more remarkable benefits of indoor plants is their ability to improve the quality of the air around them. Not only do plants increase the oxygen in our homes, but their root systems are incredibly effective at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

VOCs such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene are found in everyday materials like paint, carpets, and plastics. NASA discovered that houseplants act as natural air purifiers and can remove up to 87% of toxins in a day. The benefits of air purification do require a lot of plants to have a measurable effect—even more reason to build up your own indoor jungle.

Plants Boost Productivity and Creativity

Who doesn’t want to get more out of every day? One of the lesser-known health benefits of having indoor plants is that they improve cognitive function. A Texas A&M study found that having indoor plants in the workplace greatly improved idea generation, creative problem-solving, and concentration.

A similar study by the University of Michigan also showed that being around plants increased memory retention by up to 20%! If you’re feeling uninspired or having a hard time focusing, adding a few plants to your office or studio could be just what you need to unlock your next great idea.

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