In today’s time, stress is an inevitable part of working culture. Constant work pressure, tight deadlines and long working hours—all these factors account to work stress.
While complete avoidance of the condition is nearly impossible, the placement of small plants near the work desk can reduce some degree of stress levels.
Intriguing, isn’t it? The study conducted by the University of Hyogo in Awaji explains how a small plant situated within easy viewing can reduce stress in office workers.
The practical use of indoor plants was explored by the researchers of the study to boost mental health among employees, typically the ones who are removed from exposure to healthy green environments.
It is a well-known fact that plant life often brings mental peace but this study scientifically verifies the degree of psychological and physiological impact induced by indoor plants.
The researchers took it to the real office settings and calculated stress reduction on employees. In order to track the psychological and physiological changes before and after placing a plant on the worker’s desk, the experiment was conducted with 63 workers in Japan.
Using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the researchers measured psychological stress in the participants.
The findings of the study were presented in their article “Potential of a Small Indoor Plant on the Desk for Reducing Office Workers’ Stress”, which was published in the open-access journal HortTechnology, by the American Society for Horticultural Science.
One of the researchers of the study, Masahiro Toyoda said, “At present, not many people fully understand and utilise the benefit of stress recovery brought by plants in the workplace. To ameliorate such situations, we decided it is essential to verify and provide scientific evidence for the stress restorative effect by nearby plants in a real office setting.”
The researchers measured psychological stress in the participants using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The ratio of the participants whose pulse rate lowered significantly after a three-minute rest with interaction with their desk plant proved definitive.
Both passive (visual access) and active (taking care) involvement with plants in the workplace were considered for their contribution to the mitigation of stress and fatigue.
The researchers concluded that placing small plants within close sight contributed to psychological stress reduction across the board.