Interior Plants Shown To Reduce Workplace Stress

Your workplace will benefit from having plants!  Not only do plants help clean the air in a closed office space, studies have shown that the presence of plants increases productivity and reduces stress. One of the quickest ways to achieve a happier, healthier and more productive work environment is to add plants.

Texas A&M University Study

University Research Indicates Flowers and Plants Promote Innovation, Ideas
Key Findings Shed Light on Environmental Psychology of the Workplace

In today's economy, it is more important than ever for businesses to gain the competitive edge. Constant fluctuations in unemployment, productivity, consumer confidence and other major economic factors make it imperative for businesses to implement the right strategies to stay ahead of their competition.

According to business experts, the key to gaining the competitive edge in the modern economy is easy to understand -- a happy, productive workforce. And, while sometimes the easiest notions can be the most difficult to achieve, a recent scientific study conducted at Texas A&M University finds that nature can hold the secret to business success. The research demonstrates that workers' idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

"Our research shows that a change as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important in the most meaningful way to businesses in the modern economy," said Dr. Roger Ulrich, lead researcher on the project. "People's productivity, in the form of innovation and creative problem solving, improved -- which in certain circumstances could mean the difference between mild and great business success."

In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments, or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.

During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

"We know the importance of learning, for example, how natural surroundings affect drivers, school children, and hospital patients," said Ulrich, who has conducted extensive research on the effects of environments on psychological well-being, stress and health. "To businesses, it should be equally as important to understand what features can improve performance at work and make employees more productive."

Washington State University Study

Impact of Interior Plants on Human Stress and Productivity

In 1996, Virgina Lohr and Caroline H. Pearson-Mims, professors in the Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University conducted a study to identify the benefits of plants in an office environment.

The venue for the study was a computer lab and the experiment measured stress levels in people using computers.  Subjects were randomly assigned to be tested in the computer lab when plants were absent or when they were present.

In the lab enviroment where interior plants were present, the plants were placed around the sides of the room. The study monitored subjects' blood pressure and emotions while they performed a slightly stressful computer task that measured reaction times in response to seeing and decoding the shape of a simple object on the screen.

When plants were added to the lab, the subjects were more productive (12% quicker reactions on the computer task) and less stressed (systolic blood pressure lower).  They also reported feeling more attentive when the plants were present.

Link to study

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Happy & Healthy

Office plants have been shown to create a healthier, happier and more productive work environment. 
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