Benefits of indoor plants : Part One
Plants are very essential for our survival. They provide food, building materials, fuel, pharmaceuticals resources and more. They also provide intangible benefits that aid in improving our health. Over the past years house plants have grown in popularity. They beautify our homes and they have been scientifically proven to improve air quality. This post will look at some of the benefits of indoor plants.
1. Removes Air pollutants
One of the benefits of indoor plants is their ability to reduce air pollutants. Both private and public buildings are common to have high levels of air pollutants. This, coupled with poor ventilation contributes to a condition called sick building syndrome. Which is a combination of symptoms associated with poor air circulation. A study by NASA found that many foliage plants can reduce the level of some indoor pollutants, such as formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a strong smelling gas used in making building materials and many household items. According to American cancer society, our immune system is able to process and release this gas from our system. But in its high levels this gas can cause various health issues such as skin irritation. Other air pollutants that indoor plants can reduce include ozone, toluene and benzene.
Look out for our next post on what plants are best suited to reduce the amount of air pollutants in your indoor space.
2. Improves relative humidity
When indoor relative humidity is too low, colds and flu viruses are more frequent, wood dries and cracks. According to a study by Wolverton Environmental, indoor plants can increase relative humidity to healthier and more comfortable levels.
Although high humidity can be of discomfort during hot and moist seasons, it is important in drier seasons. It’s recommended that indoor relative humidity should be between 30 % to 60 %.
There are several ways to regulate the level of indoor humidity, with equipment such as dehumidifiers. But plants are the cheapest and organic option that will do more than just improving humidity.
3. Improves productivity
A study on the benefits of plants and why we respond to them found that productivity significantly increases when there is a plant present in the room. The study found that people responded more quickly when plants were in the room than when plants were absent. And there was no increase in error rate associated with faster response. Reaction time in the presence of plants was 12% faster than in the absence of plants. Thereby indicating that plants contributed to increased productivity.
On study to find out if young adults’ interaction with plants can reduce psychological and physiological stress. It was found out that mental fatigue is significantly reduced when young adults actively interact with indoor plants.
4. Improves air quality
Indoor plants are now playing a role in bioremediation. Bioremediation is the process of cleaning polluted air. By using either naturally occurring or purposefully introduced microorganisms, to consume and break down air pollutants. Plants go through several physical changes both at night and daytime. Some of these changes to the environment improves air quality, thereby improving our health and comfort level.
In conclusion, interior plants provide a pleasant and tranquil environment where you can work, relax and live. But there’s various health benefits that accompany the aesthetically pleasing decor items. Research has demonstrated that people’s impression of a room and their mental well- being can be significantly improved when plants are added . Plants are needed in our lives, all day every day. Indoor plants are a way to bring nature indoors. They humanise our surroundings. Plants add beauty and freshness to indoor spaces. Please look out for our next post on types of plant and what they are good for.
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The Author: Bernard is a third year Biochemistry student. This was part of his Botany research.