If you’re looking to spruce up the look of your living space, you may have considered adding some greenery. Plants are a popular home decor choice, with dozens of design tips on websites and social media dedicated to all the ways you can stylishly add them to your place. Many folks think indoor plants look great but did you know they could also provide important health benefits?
From larger foliage pieces and cacti to smaller succulent plants and flowers, there are plenty of options to choose from to meet the size of your space and personal style preferences. Plus, their low maintenance makes them a convenient addition.
We will cover the advantages you could reap from decorating your home with plants. After reading this article, you may end up trading in that new piece of artwork for some natural greenery and house plants.
The Link Between Nature and Health
Do you ever notice after going on a hike or enjoying an afternoon at the park that you feel energized and are in a better mood? Research shows that humans can benefit from spending time in the great outdoors.
Exposure to nature has been found to reduce negative emotions such as anger, fear, and stress while increasing positive feelings. Experts add that the pleasant emotions associated with nature are universal, with folks of different ages and cultures who say they find nature enjoyable.
“For example, when you take a slow, mindful walk in the sunshine, you’re not only maintaining your circadian rhythm but also making room for self-care. This multifaceted daytime breather can help restore balance to your nervous system that contributes to better sleep at night.”
Although we may recognize the good feelings that come with spending time in the fresh air, many of our current living circumstances are not always conducive to this. According to the World Health Organization, two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050.
People who live in cities have limited access to nature, and in some parts of the world where air pollution is exceptionally prevalent, citizens have to restrict their time outside.
Even if access to parks or forests is not an issue, more people are spending their days inside. For example, in the United States, Americans spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors – either in buildings or cars.
With this data in mind, people may need to get creative and find ways to bring nature to them. In this case, plants in the home could be a practical solution.
Benefits of Indoor Plants
Stressful feelings can hinder both your physical and mental health. However, it may be difficult for those with busy schedules to consistently find enough free time to practice stress-reducing activities such as yoga, mediation, or exercise.
However, putting plants in your house or apartment is an excellent way to help tackle these negative feelings without taking extra time out of your day. A 2015 study found that young adults who interacted with indoor plants reduced their physiological and psychological stress levels.
The effects of pollutants in the air are damaging to human health and the state of the planet. But, even though you may spend most of your time inside, this doesn’t mean you’re safe from harmful pollutants. Indoor air can be compromised from a mix of sources such as central heating and cooling, building materials and furnishings, tobacco products, certain appliances, household cleaning items, excess moisture, and nearby outdoor sources.
For those concerned about indoor air pollution, this is another reason to add some greenery where you live. Plants are natural air purifiers. Therefore, an indoor plant can help clean and filter the air you inhale while at home.
Improved Patient Health Outcomes
If you are a recent surgery patient or are about to undergo a procedure, having an indoor plant or two in your hospital room or wherever you are recovering might be an excellent idea. Evidence suggests plants could improve your outcome following surgery.
In a 2009 study, researchers found that patients who viewed plants during their recovery period had a healthier outcome. The plants were linked to decreased blood pressure and lower ratings for pain, anxiety, and fatigue. The researchers say that plants and flowers could be an effective therapeutic tool and improve healing environments for patients.
Increases Oxygen Levels
Another reason to add some green to your place? They increase oxygen levels.
Humans need oxygen to breathe and function to the best of their ability. When people breathe in oxygen, they exhale carbon dioxide. Potted plants absorb that carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.
According to the Lung Institute, the following five plants are considered the best for expanding oxygen levels at home.
- Areca Palm
- Snake Plant
- Money Plant
- Gerbera Daisy
- Chinese Evergreens
Are houseplants safe for pets?
If you live with a pet, it’s essential to consider the animal when deciding which potted plants to purchase, as some could be toxic for them. According to Architectural Digest, the following plants are considered as the perfect plants that are safe for cats and dogs.
- Rattlesnake Plant
- Spider Plant
- Parlor Palm
- Calathea Orbifolia
- Ponytail Palm
- Certain succulents like Haworthia and Echeveria
- African Violet
- Bird’s Nest Fern
- Venus Flytrap
- Boston Fern.
- Polka Dot Plant
- Watermelon Peperomia
- Staghorn Fern
- Baby Tears
- Friendship Plant
- Date Palm
- Prayer Plant
Adding potted plants to your home aesthetic may not be your initial plan but it can increase the quality of life. Think about the benefits of houseplants. To start you can try adding common houseplants (you can make a selection of plants and reconsider the plant life) that fit your indoor conditions (such as indirect light, office space or living space, humidity levels, indoor air quality…).
Houseplants are known to reduce stress, a condition that can wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being, and boost your energy levels. While yoga and meditation are stress-reducing activities that require time out of your day, placing plants near you doesn’t require an extra time commitment. Instead, their presence alone should help you feel better.
Secondly, they purify the air around you. People who live in larger cities, in particular, are exposed to excessive amounts of air pollutants. Therefore, the presence of plants in your home serves as a natural defense mechanism, ensuring the air you breathe is cleaner – and better – for you.
Recovering patients could also benefit from houseplants. Research has found that patients with greenery in their recovery space exhibited healthier outcomes than those who did not. So, instead of balloons or stuffed toys, the indoor plant may be the best gift for a recovering friend or loved one. The air quality in your indoor space will also increase. The air quality In your indoor space will also increase.
Lastly, plants provide additional oxygen through photosynthesis and create more natural environments. By recycling the carbon dioxide you exhale and transforming it into oxygen, houseplants should leave you feeling more invigorated and ready to tackle the day’s tasks.