Kill workplace stress with potted plants on your desk

June 12th, 2011 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 12 (IANS) If you feel stressed and exhausted while in office, keeping potted plants on your desk could have a health benefit, a new study says.

In the study led by environmental psychology expert Tina Bringslimark and her team at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Uppsala University, Sweden, researchers found the presence of potted plants in offices reduced fatigue, stress, dry throats, headaches, coughs and dry skin among workers, Daily Mail reported.

In a second study conducted on 385 office workers, the researchers looked at sick-leave rates and the number of plants individuals could see from their desks. Results showed that the more plants they could see, the less sick leave they took.

An explanation is that plants and the microbes in their soil are good at removing volatile, organic compounds that can affect health.

“There could also be a psychological explanation in that people believe plants are healthier and are likely to evaluate their own health more optimistically,” said Bringslimark.

Potted plants are particularly beneficial for offices where workers do not have a window, says a report from Washington State University.

In the US research, workers completed timed computer tasks in rooms with and without plants. When plants were present, workers were more productive and had a 12 percent quicker reaction time. They were less stressed and had lower blood pressure.

Bringslimark says that foliage plants, or houseplants, may be better than flowering plants.

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