By Emily Wei, Lifestyle Columnist
Welcome readers to another month and another column! Now that summer is upon us, I am sure that many of you have started to adopt/enhance your green thumbs or know someone that is. That is why, today, I wanted to explore plants and the science behind their positive impact on your household as well as a few you might consider getting.
Since the pandemic began, countless people have adapted to working from the comfort of their homes and, coincidentally, plants have the ability to boost productivity. One of the ways they do this is by making your workspace more inviting and comfortable. This, unsurprisingly, makes you more happy overall and it’s no surprise that we work better when we’re in a good mood! In addition to this, the colour green is subconsciously associated with growth in our brains, inspiring us to strive to improve on challenging tasks. Lastly, if you’re the type of person that needs close to complete silence while working, plants have the ability to absorb sounds to reduce the impact of background noise on your productivity.
Secondly, a more commonly known fact is that plants improve the quality of indoor air. They do this by soaking up harmful gases known as “Volatile Organic Compounds” or “VOCs” given off by carpets, paint, printers, cleaning products, and more. These VOCs have been known to contribute to health issues such as; nausea, headaches, liver damage, and throat irritation. Not only this, but studies have found that patients who had plants in their room or even just a view of plants from their window recovered faster from surgery and tolerated pain better than those who did not.
Third of all, to tie together the past two points, plants can alleviate anxiety and stress! This has been proven by recording lower blood pressures in people that have just repotted a plant. Our stress hormone is called “cortisol” and when we are around plants or looking at pictures of them, our cortisol levels improve, leading to dissipated feelings of anxiety and stress.
Now, for those of you that are new to plants, want to start planting, or are just looking for some more to add to your collection, here are some plants to consider getting. My personal favourites are snake and jade plants. As someone that is not the best at keeping plants alive, I speak from experience when I say that both of them are incredibly resilient! Also, for those of you that are superstitious, snake plants have been said to protect your household against harm and are best placed near the entrance of your home. In addition to these, spider plants are also a good household plant as they are easy to grow and share with loved ones. On the other hand, if you’re more of a flower person than a greenery person, orchids are always a nice addition to a room for some added colour and a good contributor to the aforementioned health benefits!
Now that we’re reaching the end of this month’s column, it may seem like all these benefits of plants are made-up or speculation. However, it’s important to remember that if plants can make their own food and create oxygen for us, it’s not completely out of the ordinary to think that they have the ability to do all of this for us as well!
Image by Freepik