Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | ePaper

Reducing stress keeps green plants in office

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Md Altaf Hussain :
f you’re looking to improve your work environment, adding a plant or two might not be the first idea that comes to mind. After all, what will a bit of greenery really do to enhance your workspace?
As it turns out, plants in the office can do a lot. Plants not only have the power to transform your office into a green and lush oasis but can also help you to relax and unwind. Whether you want to add some nature to your office, you can reap the wellness and health benefits. Here some amazing ways plants can help you relax and improve your overall wellbeing.
Plants reduce stress, make happier
A number of studies have been conducted that indicate indoor plants can reduce stress levels in work environments. Washington State University researchers found that study participants’ blood pressure levels were lower when plants were present in the interior. Study participants also reported feeling more attentive in the room containing plants. Multiple other studies have produced evidence that stress levels are reduced by the presence of plants and even improve productivity among office workers.
Plants help to reduce sickness and absence rates
The Human Spaces report, which studied 7,600 offices workers in 16 countries, found that nearly two-thirds (58 per cent) of workers have no live plants in their workspaces. Those whose environments incorporated natural elements reported a 15 per cent higher wellbeing score and a 6 per cent higher productivity score than employees whose offices didn’t include such elements.
Some experts argue that adding plants to the work environment can help to reduce the risk of sick building syndrome, although evidence to back up these claims is hard to come by.
Plants reduce noise levels
Plants are commonly used to reduce noise pollution along highways and interstates. Using the same concept, plants in the workplace change room acoustics by reducing reverberation time. Plants placed in areas with hard surfaces such as hardwood floors, concrete and marble walls, will effectively absorb noises which can be distracting and hurt employee productivity.
Plants improve your mental health
When you are feeling under the weather, nothing perks you up like the gift of a plant or colorful flowers. Studies have shown that workers who have flowers or plants in their office room, or who look out onto a garden from their room, often recover more quickly than those who have no plants around them.
Plants help to increase our levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed. They can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding, especially when a plant you have been lovingly caring for bursts into bloom.
Plants improve indoor bacteria balance
There are already trillions of bacteria in high-rise offices, but only a limited amount come in through open windows and air conditioning from the outdoor environment. Most of the bacteria, fungi and viruses come from people; we leave behind a microbial cloud from our skin wherever we go. The office environment then creates new habitats for microbial communities that may be quite foreign to human skin, and may not be good for your health.
Beneficial bacteria on indoor plants and in their soil are an important addition to the office, stabilising the ecology of the built synthetic environment. Plant-associated bacteria could also help to avoid outbreaks of pathogens by enhancing microbial biodiversity and balancing the complex network of the ecosystem.
It's not just the size of the plant that's important here. Larger pots mean more root mass and soil surface for helpful bacteria and root microbes. n

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