The benefits of plants
You don’t have to be an environmental psychologist to understand that plants look attractive. But dig a little deeper beneath their beauty and you’ll discover that the benefits of interior landscaping go far beyond the aesthetic.
Recent research tells us that interior plants are good for buildings and people in a variety of subtle ways. Interior landscaping plays a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to move, work or relax.
Plants help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being
Most of us know instinctively that being close to greenery makes us feel more at ease with our surroundings. We experience less stress when there are plants around us. Buildings are quieter and more relaxed but, at the same time, more stimulating and interesting. A substantial body of academic research, has shown conclusively that interior landscaping has dramatic effects on the wellbeing of building occupants.
People in offices are more productive, take fewer sick days, make fewer mistakes, and they are happier when interior landscaping enhances their environment.
Patients in hospitals benefit greatly from being more in touch with nature. There is even evidence showing students perform better in improved learning environments.
Plants help improve air quality
There is general agreement amongst scientists that plants improve the indoor environment and are useful in fighting the modern phenomenon of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS).
No specific cause of SBS has been identified but poor air quality, excessive background noise and inadequate control of light and humidity are all thought to be important factors.
Because plants have large surface areas and exchange gases and water with their surroundings, plants can help tackle some of these issues.
Particular benefits of interior plants include:
- Reducing carbon dioxide levels
- Increasing humidity
- Reducing levels of certain pollutants, such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide
- Reducing airborne dust levels
- Keeping air temperatures down
Plants help lower background noise
Plants have long been used to reduce noise from busy roads. More recently, research has shown another benefit: interior plants can help to reduce background noise levels inside buildings, too.
Our own studies indicate that plants and their leaves absorb, diffract or reflect background noise, thereby making the environment more comfortable for the occupants.
With our support, Peter Costa, a postgraduate student at South Bank University, London, found that certain plants are particularly good at absorbing high frequencies.
Plants absorb sound best in acoustically live spaces, such as those that feature hard surfaces. Learn more about the benefits of interior landscaping.