5 health reasons to add plants to your home office

Natalie Healey
Photo credit: Harper's Bazaar

From Harper's BAZAAR

With more people working from home due to coronavirus, for many of us, this also means scrambling to carve out a small-yet-productive corner of the house to work from, whether it is in the kitchen or the lounge.

And while it might not be the first thing that comes to mind – you might want to consider adding some greenery to your makeshift home office. Certainly, houseplants can make a room look better, but studies also suggest they can have myriad health benefits.

Here are some reasons you should place a potted plant on your desk (or kitchen counter).

1.Improve air quality

According to a NASA study from 1989, plants can help clean the air. Scientists identified 107 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the Skylab space station which were contributing to poor health. But researchers also found certain indoor plants can eliminate these chemicals from the stuffy office (or home) air, essentially purifying it.

2.Stress busters

Many of us are under a lot of pressure at work, and given the current uncertainty, this is likely to be only amplified. In research conducted by Washington State University, scientists made workers complete timed computer tasks in rooms with and without plants. When the plants were present, the participants were more productive, less stressed and had lower blood pressure.

Photo credit: Andreas von Einsiedel - Getty Images

3.Reduce sickness

Adding houseplants to the office might help fend off bugs too. Norwegian researchers found that sickness rates feel more than 60 per cent in offices with plants compared to those with no greenery at all.

4.Boost productivity

That potted plant won't just help you feel more relaxed, it could also make your more efficient. Researchers from the University of Exeter found that plants could increase productivity by 15 per cent.

The scientists suggested that a green office increases employees' work engagement by making them more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their work.

Photo credit: POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT PHOTOGRAPHY - Getty Images

5.Increase comfort

If the humidity inside falls, it can make you feel sluggish. But Washington State University also looked at whether plants can help with this issue too. They found that adding a plants to a room really can increase the humidity, making the room feel more comfortable for employees.

Best office plants

Obviously not all plants thrive in a work space. Some, such as daisies and palms need a lot of sunlight so they're best in offices with decent windows. But ferns and philodendrons work well in low or filtered light, so could be good choice for dark cubicles. Always check the care tag that comes with your plant to learn what its needs are.

Lifestyle site The fix.com blog recommends the following choices for an office plant:

  1. Peace lily
  2. Spider plant
  3. Gerbera daisy
  4. Devil's ivy
  5. Butterfly palm tree

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