Study Shows Desk Plants Can Actually Reduce Anxiety at Work, So Let's Go Succulent Shopping

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Instagram

From House Beautiful

Plants have special powers. They are magical, marvelous organisms that not only give off oxygen for us to breathe, but also work to heal us in other ways. While we already know that having fresh flowers in the home reduces pain levels, a new study sheds a light on how having a plant on your work desk can lower anxiety levels.

A study published by the American Society Horticultural Science compared participants' heart rates during two different 3-minute phases of sitting at their desk. In the first phase, no plant was present as participants sat at the desk. In the second phase, a plant was placed on the desk. The scientists found that "pulse rate lowered significantly" after some greens were added to the scene. The study noted that even if participants weren't intentionally looking at the plant, and instead let it sink into the background, there was still a degree of stress reduction. However, when the plant is acknowledged and "prescribed gazing" occurs, participants' stress levels were further decreased. Not to mention, the study elaborates on the fact that when we buy a plant and care for it, we start to form a relationship with the plant, which can prompt a degree of affection and lower stress even more. Compiling all of this, researchers concluded that "opportunities to gaze intentionally at nearby plants on a daily basis in the work environment can reduce the psychological and physiological stress of office workers." Preach it!

If there's anywhere where we could use the calming powers of plants to help us out, it would definitely be the office. Here are a few plant babies to add to your work area!

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