We’ve wrote earlier about the health benefits of being outdoors. Many people, though, are stuck inside for the majority of the day. Are there any health benefits to bringing plants indoors? Fortunately, there are!
There are many physical and psychological benefits to having indoor plants. Perhaps the most important is their ability to improve air quality. Indoor air, often contaminated by varnishes, adhesives, furnishings, clothing, solvents, building materials, etc., can be 12x more polluted than outdoor air. Toxins released from these products can contribute to everything from nausea to cancer. Can indoor plants make a difference? One study tested 28 plants to see if they would be able to reduce 5 of the most common indoor pollutants: benzene, TCE, toluene, octane and alpha-pinene. The researchers placed the plants in sealed glass jars, exposed them to each of the 5 pollutants and rated their ability (superior, intermediate or poor) to improve air quality. 4 plants were found to do a superior job of removing all 5 of the pollutants. 1 did a superior job of removing 4 of the pollutants. Here are the top plants (the top 4 are in no particular order).
1. Purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata): Rated superb on 5/5
2. English ivy (Hedera helix): Rated superb on 5/5
3. Variegated wax plant (Hoya carnosa): Rated superb on 5/5
4. Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus): Rated superb on 5/5
5. Purple Heart Plant (Tradescantia pallida): Rated superb on 4/5
Indoor plants have also been found to improve concentration, workplace satisfaction, reaction time, pain tolerance and reduce stress. One study even found that people are 15% more productive when a plant is in view. So add some plants to your home and office! It will make the space look better and make you healthier at the same time.