Anybody who knows me well knows I am passionate about plants. Some would call it an addiction… My yard stands out in my neighborhood. Plants, big and small, are all welcome! Same with my house. Sometimes I feel I am living in a jungle!
A few weeks ago, to my sheer delight, I read an article about how important plants are in the workplace! One more space to conquer!
The article “Les bienfaits des plantes vertes au travail”, published by Radio Canada last year, informs us that studies show that workers surrounded by plants are happier and see their productivity increased. As an added bonus, plants are known to be great air purifiers.
It has been shown they are more pollutants and at higher concentrations in offices than in city streets. Benzene, formaldehyde, and other nasty chemicals emanate from carpets, glues, paints, office machines. Plants can help reduce the level of those chemicals by absorbing and transforming them into harmless substances. Now, of course, one plant is not going to create pure mountain air in your little cubicle, but it does help a bit. You would have to have a veritable jungle (like in my house!) to feel a difference.
In some countries, providing green spaces where people can re-generate, is a matter of public health. In Japan, they have what they call forest bathing, « shinrin-yoku ». People are encouraged to take walks in forests, empty their mind and let nature heal them. Japanese scientists have proven the benefits of this practice on the immune and cardiovascular systems. Stress hormone, cortisol, just plummets to normal level after forest bathing.
Nature does have a positive effect on our brains. So why not bring nature indoors?
Of course, I am not saying that we should plant trees in our offices. Even a few plants here and there can help make our environment more pleasant and make a positive impact on us.
Be happy, put a plant in your office J
By Fabrice Ligny