27 Jan Health and Well-being Benefits of Plants
Concentration and Memory. Being around plants helps people concentrate better in the home and workplace. Studies show that tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Moreover, being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.
Keeping ornamental plants in the home and in the workplace increases memory retention and concentration. The calming influence of natural environments is conducive to positive work environments by increasing a person’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher accuracy rate than work done in environments devoid of nature. Going outside or being under the influence of plants can increase memory retention up to twenty percent, a recent University of Michigan study showed (Sewach). The effect of nature in the home and in the workplace serves to stimulate both the senses and the mind, improving mental cognition and performance. (Bisco Werner 1996; Brethour 2007; Frank 2003; Pohmer 2008; Serwach 2008; Shibata, 2001, 2004; Yannick 2009)
Educational Programs / Special Events. Parks and botanical gardens often play host to educational programs and special events, which contribute to the cultural awareness and education of the community (children especially). This raises environmental consciousness and appreciation.
Installing a park or botanical garden in a community has many direct benefits to residents, but an auxiliary benefit of having such a naturalized landmark in the community is the special events and cultural opportunities it brings to people who might not otherwise be exposed. Botanical gardens and zoos often create educational programs for children in order to teach them how the value of being environmentally-conscious and conserving the environment. They can also impact adults in the community as well, creating a cultural awareness of the importance of natural environments. Parks and gardens foster an appreciation for nature that often instills in residents a sense of responsibility for the caring of and protection of the environment. (Appleseed, Inc. 2009, Dubey 2007, Nadel 2005, Phipps Botanical Gardens and Conservatory 2010)
Flowers Generate Happiness. Having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed.
Keeping flowers around the home and in the workplace greatly reduces a person’s stress levels. Natural aesthetic beauty is soothing to people, and keeping ornamental flowers around the home environment is an excellent way to lower levels of stress and anxiety. People who keep flowers in their home feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. As a result of the positive energy they derive from the environment, the chances of suffering from stress-related depression are decreased as well. Overall, adding flowers to your home or work environment reduces your perceived stress levels and makes you feel more relaxed, secure, and happy. Flowers can help you achieve a more optimistic outlook on your life, bringing you both pleasing visual stimulation and helping you to increase your perceived happiness.
(Brethour 2007, Collins 2008, Dunnet 2000, Etcoff 2007, Frank 2003, Haviland-Jones 2005, Hartig 2010, McFarland 2010, Rappe 2005, Waliczek 2000)
Health and Recreation. Access to parks and recreational activities is positively correlated with rates of physical activity, which improves mood and contributes to overall healthiness. Health care costs are subsequently reduced.
Parks and urban green spaces impact people’s health by providing them with an inexpensive (often free) and convenient recreational service. There is a positive correlation between the presence of a park in a neighborhood and the level of physical activity of the residents; people are much more likely to exercise when there is a no-cost, aesthetically pleasing area or facility for them to use. As a result, residents of neighborhoods with beautiful parks are much healthier; their increase in exercise makes them less susceptible to physical ailments and more resilient against minor illnesses. As a result, these residents do not spend as much each year on health care and medical treatment, because they require fewer of these services Healthy people are happier people; residents who exercise often have excellent overall health and therefore have a more positive mental outlook. The presence of parks in neighborhoods encourages residents to exercise, thus improving their physical state and enabling them to more fully enjoy their lives.
(Appleseed, Inc. 2009, Mitchell, 2008, Bisco Werner 1996, Brethour 2007, Fjeld 2000, Frank 2003, Sallis 1995, Shoemaker 2009, The Trust for Public Land 2008, Wolf 2004b)
Accelerates Healing Process. The presence of plants in hospital recovery rooms and/or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients to heal faster, due to the soothing affects of ornamental horticulture.
Shrubs, trees, and flowers have a practical application in hospitals: the presence of plants in patient recovery rooms greatly reduces the time necessary to heal. The soothing effects of ornamental flowers and plants are so great that simply having daily views of flowers and other ornamental plants in landscaped areas outside patient recovery room significantly speed up recovery time. Another technique to decrease recovery time is horticulture therapy, where patients care for and nurture plants themselves. Patients who physically interact with plants experience a significantly reduced recovery time after medical procedures. (Brethour 2007, Frank 2003, Friend 2008, Lohr 2000, Park, 2009, Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Assn. 2009, Ulrich 1984)
To read full article, visit Texas A&M University’s Agriculture and Life Sciences.