Okay, maybe not instead of yoga–or meditation, or whatever it is that you do for relaxation. But there is a marked relaxation response noted in the presence of plants. And that seems good enough reason for me to have them in my home.
Once again, this research comes out of Washington State University. Professor Virginia Lohr seems to be doing most of the groundbreaking work on plants there and not only are her papers online but her course syllabi are too. Fascinating stuff!
Professor Lohr suggests that her study is of the “intangible” benefits of indoor plants on people. She set out to determine their effects on things like feelings of well-being, stress reduction, pain management and general discomfort (having already proven their tangible benefits on air pollution, particulate matter, relative humidity and acoustics in earlier studies). And you thought that the ficus in the corner was just taking up space!
Clearly I wouldn’t be posting about all this if she did not indeed show that indoor plants have a marked effect on people.
And I’m sure this comes as no shock to most of my readers. The proliferation of indoor green walls alone is proof that people are beginning to see value in indoor plants. They are being installed in offices, and in one case, in a LEED designed project in New York City.
While most of us aren’t going so far as to have green walls installed in our homes, surely an extra plant or two would never be amiss, particularly in this cold and dreary winter.