How do indoor plants improve health in the workplace?

Considerable academic research, which shows that plants can

improve health in the workplace, has been carried out. The

research has shown that indoor plants reduce complaints of minor

ailments, generally improve the feeling of well-being and also

reduce stress levels.

Offices in Bavaria promote plants

During a two year study in Bavaria, Engelbert Kötter working on behalf of the

Bavarian State Ministry of Nourishment, Agriculture and Forestry, found that

plants in offices improved employees’ perceptions of their well-being as well as

improving the comfort-factor of the offices.

Taking 94 offices and 139 office employees, Kötter introduced plants into the

offices and measured humidity and light levels which are important for plants

and people; he also assessed the workers’ perceptions of change to the climate

of the rooms and to their own well-being by means of a series of


Kötter also addressed the issues of noise reduction by plants and dispelled fears

that plants introduced dust and germs to the environment.

Central heating or air conditioning can dry the air, which can cause respiratory

and skin irritation. The optimum humidity level for comfort is about 60%.

Kötter’s findings showed that common houseplants such as Spathiphyllum

(Peace Lily), African violet, Epipremum (Devil’s Ivy) and Ficus pumila raised the

humidity levels by 2 – 5% making the office atmosphere more comfortable for


Office employees also recorded that the offices with plants felt fresher, made

they feel less stressed, made the working feel more human and in general

seemed to up-grade their environment.

With improved conditions and perceptions, office employees will enjoy their

work situation better; happy employees = more output and happy bosses!

Information source

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