It’s time to balance out that blue computer light with some green. Green plants, that is.
You may be wondering why someone would suggest you put more work into your workspace. Are you really supposed to remember to water your plants along with everything else you have to do? Well, yes. There are gadgets you can get that water your plants as they need it and you only have to refill the water every so often. But as we get into the details, you’ll find the benefits are well worth the work.
Even NASA’s scientists stand behind the research that having desk plants makes things better. Want more details? Read on below.
Why Have Desk Plants?
Are you surprised to hear that NASA concerns itself with plants? Well, it does, kinda. It concerns itself with what plants can take out of the air – up to 107 volatile compounds.
Here’s more information:
1. They Clean the Air
in 1973 the scientists at NASA found over 100 compounds in the air that can harm human lungs. We’re talking about things that are seriously bad, not just the occasional dust spore.
These are called VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Ever heard about free radicals? They’re all over the place. The discovery led to the creation or identification or Sick Building Syndrome – an illness that comes from polluted indoor air.
Don’t worry, there’s good news, we promise. Do you know what plants do in the wild? They purify the air and create more oxygen.
Having green plants in your building can clear up some of those nasty VOCs and keep your lungs happy and healthy. There are certain plants that better filter than others, which we’ll get into later.
2. They Make You Calm
Have you ever heard that looking at the color pink or yellow can create feelings of happiness? Well, it’s time to add green to that list.
Looking at green plants calms a mind that wasn’t made to sit indoors and stare at a screen all day.
There’s proof behind this too. In a study in England, a student named Helen Russell set up plants vs stress experiment. She gave two groups of participants a hard test to take. They were hooked up to heart rate monitors, skin thermometers, and blood pressure readers. One group was in a room filled with indoor plants, and the other was not.
And guess what? The people in the room filled with plants had lower physical responses to stress (blood pressure, heart rate) than the participants in the room with no plants.
Pretty cool, huh?
3. They Look Nice
This one isn’t science, but it’s still relevant. When you think about the human body and our history, we used to spend a lot more time outdoors. Now with offices and screens, we don’t get outside as often as we’d like. Bringing plants inside is a nice visual stimulant.
4. They *Can* Increase Productivity
We’re not promising that you’ll go from sloth mode to super-typer, but there is evidence that you’ll be more productive in a green zone.
That evidence comes to us from the researchers at Washington State University. They did a study where workers who worked in rooms with green, living plants got 12% more done than those in empty rooms.
The study even worked psychologically. The participants told researchers they felt more attentive and like they could get more done. We bet they were truly surprised when the only reason they got more done was the presence of plants.
5. They Make You Happier
Finally, having plants and feeling a sense of caring responsibility can make you happier. Humans are a tribal animals, and they feel a sense of meaning and love when taking care of others.
That extends to plants.
Which Desk Plants Should I Get?
Now that you have “get desk plants” written down on your to-do list, it’s time to talk about the best ones for your space.
Growing indoor plants is more difficult than growing outdoor plants because you can’t rely on rain for water. And you have to be more careful and calculated about getting them sunlight. But there are plenty of hardy plants that even someone with the blackest thumb can succeed with.
Check out these plants that will thrive in your office. Keep your sunlight levels in mind.
A String of Pearl Plant
If you’re looking for a hanging plant or something that will cascade down in a corner or down a bookshelf, look no further than a string of pearls. Medium light and low water will keep it alive.
Another plant that can hang or sit, English Ivy needs a lot of water in the beginning. To keep them happy, grab one of these watering bulbs. If you have a chilly office, these guys can stand the temps.
If you don’t have barely any light and barely any space, then you can still get some green from bamboo. Bamboo needs next to nothing and is a famous air filter-er.
Another famous filtering plant. They don’t need much light and can stand up to some under or over watering. Invest in one of these watering bulbs and set a reminder on your phone to refill it every week.
Your New Favorite Colleague
Move over Susan from accounting, you have a new favorite office friend. It’s your new desk plants, and they’re here for you day in and day out.
When you’re done decorating your office with green plants, look into making your office a little more ergonomic with new furniture to really round out a healthy, relaxed work atmosphere.