You don’t have to be an environmental psychologist to understand that plants look attractive. But dig a little deeper beneath their beauty and you’ll discover the facts – the benefits of indoor plants go far beyond the aesthetic.
Recent research has shown that indoor plants significantly improve a whole range of aspects of our indoor environment. The benefits cover a spectrum from physically cleaner air to direct beneficial effects on psychological health, task performance, illness reduction and productivity.
The findings are important since, in New Zealand over 70% of us live in urban areas, where we spend an amazing 90% of our time indoors, so the quality of the indoor environment is crucial to our wellbeing.
Recent research tells us that indoor plants are good for buildings and people in a variety of ways. Plants play a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to move, work or relax. Indoor plants can also help health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace.
Scientific studies from research in Australia and around the world, reinforces the positive effect living plants can have on the health and well being of people who work in buildings.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT INDOOR PLANTS:
Help improve indoor air quality
Help reduce sick building syndrome
Help improve well being
Help improve productivity and performance
Help to lower stress and negative feelings
Help to reduce noise
Improve business image with potential clients
Contribute to fulfilling at least 75% of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Criteria
IN SUMMARY, INDOOR PLANTS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON IMPROVING AIR QUALITY IN BUILDINGS, AS:
Indoor air is almost always more polluted than outdoors. In particular, indoor air generally has more:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Emitting from plastics/synthetics, in furniture, fittings, computers, printers and more, cause loss of concentration, headaches, eye, nose and throat problems.
CO2 (us breathing), causes drowsiness, heavy-head, lowered concentration.
Overseas findings show that indoor plants can reduce:
Nitrogen and sulfur oxides
The UTS Research, conducted over the last 15 years, has shown that indoor plants can reduce:
Can reduce by over 80% to below 100 ppb (Aust. Office Max. 500 ppb)
If VOC loads go up, so do removal rates
All plant species equally effective (the process depends on symbiosis with normal potting-mix bacteria)
Works day and night (24/7)
And 20 cm pots are as effective as 30 cm pots
CO2 (Carbon dioxide)
Reduce by 10-25%
Exchanged for equal amount of O2 (oxygen)
The more foliage the better for CO2 removal
Optimise CO2 reduction by placing plants according to their recommended light requirements