Plant Something for Wellness

Plants provide various health benefits to humans, and with an increasing amount of time spent indoors, it is now more important than ever to actively create a connection to the natural environment. Whether it is planting your own garden or creating a garden oasis at home, plants are beneficial to a person’s well-being. Plants can improve our lives by reducing stress levels, enhancing concentration and memory, as well as improving air quality.

Plants Reduce Stress Levels

Indoor plants are well-known to reduce stress levels, thus promoting a relaxed work environment. Active interaction with indoor plants, such as touching and smelling, can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Also, the potting soil can help with daily stress and anxiety as it contains microbes (M. vaccae), which work as natural antidepressants (Nazish, 2018). With indoors plants reducing stress levels, it becomes easier to restock our stores of mental processing power and perform thoughtful tasks. The presence of green leafy plants has also been linked to enhanced creative thinking (Augustin, 2018).

Plants Enhance Concentration

By reducing stress levels, plants in the workplace improve staff concentration, well-being, and productivity. Attention restoration theory (ART) suggests that people concentrate better after spending time in nature. This theory discusses how spending time in nature shifts the brain into a different processing mode allowing people to feel more relaxed and be able to concentrate (Kaplan, 1995). In addition, plants have a calming influence and produce a friendly, breathing environment which promotes well-being and is conducive to a productive workplace (Borreli, 2013).

Plants Improve Air Quality

Along with reducing stress levels and enhancing concentration, plants play a major role in purifying the air we breathe. Leafy plant systems remove organic compounds from the air (Wolverton, 1989). Indoor air can be more polluted than the outdoor air with toxins such as asbestos, mould, radon, formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. Plants are able to filter out these toxins by absorbing these pollutants through their roots and leaves (Nazish, 2018). By purifying the air, plants help to reduce health symptoms such as headaches, coughing, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, and skin irritations. They also increase humidity in the air, which can help to alleviate itchy eyes and congestion (Prestigious, 2017).

Don’t Just Stand There, Plant Something BC!

There is no doubt that plants can significantly improve our lives and overall well-being. They help us de-stress, improving our concentration. They also filter the air we breathe, removing harmful toxins. Therefore, spending time outdoors in nature or creating your own indoor space for house plants can be your gateway to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Columbia.