Desk Plants Can Significantly Decrease Stress in the Workplace, New Study Shows

Hannah Chubb
Desk Plants Can Significantly Decrease Stress in the Workplace, New Study Shows

Does your 9 to 5 grind leave you feeling anxious and uptight? According to this new study, you may want to turn to the power of plants

A team of researchers from the University of Hyogo in Japan recently found that having a plant on your desk can significantly reduce your stress in the workplace, publishing their findings in a study called “Potential of a Small Indoor Plant on the Desk for Reducing Office Workers’ Stress” in the American Society for Horticultural Science Journal

The experiment, which was conducted on office workers at an electric company in Japan, measured workers’ pulse rates during two three-minute breaks in the workday: One while looking at and/or caring for a plant on their desk, and one without a plant present.

The study found that workers’ pulse rates were significantly lower during the break with the plant than without, leading the researchers to conclude that “having opportunities to gaze intentionally at nearby plants on a daily basis in the work environment can reduce the psychological and physiological stress of office workers.” 

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According to the researchers, stress in the workplace — and in our everyday lives — is a pressing issue in modern society. Although several studies have found psychological and physiological benefits of maintaining indoor plants, this appears to be the first to focus solely on the workplace — where many Americans spend a good portion of their day. 

The study is available online for further reading.  

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Ready to kick that stress and outfit your office with a potted plant of your own? There are many companies that will send greenery straight to your office potted and ready to go — no green thumb, seeds or soil necessary. 

FTD, for example, offers a variety of succulents and air plants, which are popular for their resiliency and low need for care (if you’re not an experienced plant parent, this might be the way to go). 

FTD

Buy It! Desert Cool Cactus & Succulent Bowl, $60, ftd.com

1-800 Flowers also offers deliverable succulents in a variety of different sizes, so you’ll find a fit no matter how tiny your desk space. 

1-800-Flowers

Buy It! Succulents by Lula’s Garden (Large), $55, 1800flowers.com

Bloomscape is a popular service which allows you to pick your perfect plant based on a number of different criteria, from how much sun and water it needs to whether or not it is toxic to pets. They even have an entire section on their website dedicated to plants for the office, sized from extra-small to extra-large. 

Bloomscape

Buy It! Tough Stuff Collection (3 plants), $65, bloomscape.com

And if you really don’t trust yourself to keep a plant alive, Target has a huge selection of artificial (but real-looking!) plants — from jade and orchids to cacti and ferns — all at a reasonable price.

Buy It! Opalhouse Artificial Succulent Glass Terrarium, $15, target.com

Happy plant parenting, everyone!