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Desk plants can reduce stress at work

Researchers have found that small plants situated within easy viewing at your workplace linked to various stress-reducing benefits.

For the study, published in the journal HortTechnology, the research team explored the practical use of indoor plants to boost mental health among employees typically removed from exposure to healthy green environments.

“At present, not so many people fully understand and utilise the benefit of stress recovery brought by plants in the workplace, said study researcher Masahiro Toyoda from University of Hyogo in Japan.

“To ameliorate such situations, we decided it essential to verify and provide scientific evidence for the stress restorative effect by nearby plants in a real office setting,” Toyoda said.

The study used 63 workers to “verify the stress reduction effects of the presence of small indoor plants on employees in a real office setting.” Participants were asked to take a three-minute break and look at the plant when they reported fatigue (passive participation).

“The results suggest that if employers would provide active encouragement for workers to take three-minute ‘nature breaks,’ the mental health of their employees would improve,” says the study.

Participants were also encouraged to take care of the plants, which was considered active participation. Two tests were taken during the study, that measured psychological stress at the end of the day. Pulse rates were taken twice per day as well.

Researchers found that 27 per cent of the people showed a significant decrease in pulse rates, while 14.3 per cent showed a significant increase. A further 58.7 per cent showed no change.


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