Posted In // Design Tips Office Ergonomics
The scientific research on the relationship between plants and human health is overwhelmingly positive, with studies showing that plants can achieve the following, as compiled by Psychology Today:
• Reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number)
• Minimize reaction delays
• Improve focus
• Lower absenteeism (in schools and the workplace)
• Increase productivity
• Foster general wellness
• Brighten attitudes toward an interior
• Decrease mental strain throughout surgical recovery
• Elevate workplace mood.
Chris Raimondi of the Professional Landcare Network reminded readers of the Seattle Times that plants are the simplest element of green building: they make the air fresher by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. They also have a purifying effect, absorbing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. A NASA study further revealed their detoxification potential, finding that they can eliminate up to 60% of airborne mold spores and bacteria. It’s no wonder that strategic inclusion of plants is one of the commonest design tips not just for homes but offices as well. Plants are included in the decor of more than half of American businesses, per the National Gardening Association.
Five top office plants
Mary Mazzoni of Earth911, a sustainability and recycling site that occasionally offers green building advice, recommended five plants for the office this summer:
Spider plant – Spider plants can survive without any direct sunlight, so they are well-suited for cubicles and windowless workspaces. According to a study from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, spider plants are one of the most effective houseplants at clearing the air of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other contaminants. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/of-39.pdf
Lemon balm – Another ideal plant to include in your office design is lemon balm, which also doesn’t need to be near a window. Studies shows that this plant could also make you happier. Research at Ohio State University suggested that its sweet fragrance enhances mood. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/aromathe.htm
Philodendron– This plant is extraordinarily hardy. It’s also one of the best plants at removing VOCs and carbon dioxide, according to research from the University of Technology, Sydney http://www.science.uts.edu.au/pdf/presentation-houseplantA.pdf.
Peace lily – As its name suggests, this variety is very laid-back and thrives in shady environments. A 1989 NASA study found that it is one of the strongest plants at detoxification. http://www.scribd.com/doc/1837156/NASA-Indoor-Plants
Golden pothos – This plant, like the philodendron, does not require much attention. It’s capable of absorbing as much as 73% of airborne contaminants, according to NASA http://www.scribd.com/doc/1837156/NASA-Indoor-Plants.
Turning design tips into a strategic plan
As indicated by the above research, plants aren’t just beautiful. They actually clean the air and make us feel better. At Beaux-Arts Group, we don’t just want to make interiors attractive. We want them to make sense. We “understand” space, and that is evident in all our services. Contact us now.