Bringing Nature Inside Is Good For Your Health
by Sitari Country Estate
22 February, 2021
BRINGING NATURE INSIDE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.
Cheerful, bright and lively, plants deliver a sense of calmness and tranquillity that is needed in the current chaos that’s sweeping the world. Studies have shown that being stuck indoors can really affect mental health – largely due to the sense of immobilisation that perpetuates depression and anxiety. And, if you are accustomed to an active lifestyle, this confinement is particularly difficult to bear. Says clinical psychologist, Dr Carla Marie Manly (PhD), “When people are confined inside, it can be truly important to bring nature into their living spaces as much as possible.” This is because confinement promotes a sense of losing control.
Nature inherently promotes stability and relaxation and the colour green immediately triggers relaxation and a calm state in the brain. Research has proven that exposure to nature and nature-inspired environments is directly linked with positive mental health. And since confinement is something that will need to be contended with for the foreseeable future, it is important to bring nature into our living spaces as much as possible. Here are 5 health and wellness reasons for having indoor plants:
1. Indoor Plants Can Reduce Stress Levels
Indoor plants promote feelings of tranquillity and comfort. Studies have shown that biological factors associated with stress such as heart rate and blood pressure were lowered when completing tasks within a nature-inspired setting. Researchers in the study concluded that working within nature or an environment with indoor plants could reduce the psychological and physiological stress response in people.
2. Real Plants Sharpen Attention Spans
As beautiful as faux plants look, they, unfortunately, won’t help your mental acuity. In a study comprising 23 participants, the researchers placed the participants first with a faux plant in the room while they were studying and then with a real, indoor plant while they carried out their study routine. Several brain scans were taken of the participants in both scenarios and it found that the participants were more attentive and had a higher level of concentration when the real plant was in the room as opposed to the faux plant.
3. Plants Can Be A Form Of Therapy
Recent studies have indicated that working with plants in the form of gardening or indoor plant pruning can aid people to diminish the symptoms of mental illness. This is known as horticultural therapy – and while it has been around for centuries, it has found a modern purpose in a chaotic world. Clinics in Manchester in England are now prescribing potted plants as a form of wellness to patients dealing with depression, dementia and anxiety as a way to promote positive moods and mental states.
4. Plants Boost Productivity
Looking for that afternoon boost to get through those emails? Look no further than a potted plant in your workspace. Numerous studies have found that having plants in a workspace boosts creativity and productivity – with some findings even citing that people worked 12 per cent faster when plants were placed within close proximity of a person’s working space. Studies also showed that people who work with plants in their workspace took fewer sick days.
5. Plants Improve The Quality Of Indoor Air
Ever heard of phytoremediation? It’s a word for the process whereby plants eliminate toxins and contaminants from the air. It all started when NASA researchers were tasked with finding ways to improve the air quality in sealed space crafts. After several tests, they concluded that the roots and soil of houseplants reduced airborne Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) significantly.
Looking for some air purifying indoor plants? Here are some plant species that were shown to be very effective:
- Spider Plant (Hen-en-kuikens)
- Bamboo Palms
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
- Aloe Vera
- Rubber Plant
- Snake Plant