What Are The Health Benefits Of Owning Houseplants?
What Are Some Benefits Of Owning Houseplants?
Have you ever wondered what, if any, benefits there are to owning houseplants? Have you ever been watering your favorite houseplants and found yourself talking to them, only to find after the fact that you feel a bit better afterwards? The good news is, you’re not alone! Multiple studies have proven that indoor plants keep you healthier and happier. They offer both psychological and physical health benefits.
Some Benefits Include:
Improving your mood
Lowering stress and anxiety
Improving office performance and focus
Boosting healing and pain tolerance
Minimizing the occurrence of headaches by improving air quality
Easing dry skin and respiratory ailments due to dry air
What Do Houseplants Do For Our Indoor Environment?
Many houseplants can absorb toxic substances such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, which are found in man-made materials that are known to "off-gas" pollutants into the air in our homes. In addition to this, a study done at Virginia Tech led researchers to conclude that houseplants can reduce indoor dust by up to 20%. In effect, houseplants are efficient air cleaners, so if you have bad allergies to dust 一 or just have lots of dust in your home for whatever reason 一 having houseplants may not be such a bad idea!
NASA has even done extensive studies of the role of houseplants in cleansing the air, hoping to capitalize on these benefits for future space stations. Their studies have shown that certain houseplants are exceptionally good at cleansing the air.
What Houseplants Does NASA Recommend?
The following list is the 18 houseplants that NASA deemed exceptionally good at cleansing the air:
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Golden pothos (Epipiremnum aureum)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa')
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
Bamboo or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)
NASA recommends having 15-18 houseplants for a 1,800-square-foot house. Although, not all of us have room for quite that many plants, so even just a few can be effective. Dr. Virginia Lohr一 a professor of horticulture at Washington State University 一 suggests that filling as little as 2% of the room with plants will make an impact.
What Are The Other Ways Houseplants Improve The Air?
Plants release water vapor into the air, which increases humidity, and this can help improve respiratory and skin health by offsetting the drying effects of heating systems. This can also be an incredible benefit to those with respiratory issues, headaches, and people who deal with allergies. Plants also increase oxygen levels in the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen during photosynthesis. You can maximize your benefits by placing plants in your 'breathing zone,' within 6 to 8 square feet of where you normally sit or lie.
Another positive effect of this increased oxygenation can be to improve our mood, energy, and mental focus. Studies have found that when people were allowed to have indoor plants in their office space, their work performance improved! Not only are they beautiful, but they also help people feel better and work better. Just having plants around you will offer psychological benefits but the act of caring for your plants can also help decrease stress and anxiety. So next time you’re watering your plants, slow down, take a few deep breaths, and focus on what you’re doing. Admire your plants’ leaves and flowers; touch them; maybe even talk to them! It will help both you and your plants thrive.