By Joe Zazzera, LEED AP, GRP | November 11, 2010 | topics: stress relief from using indoor plants
Our modern life-styles contribute to personal stress overload and government cuts will have shot stress graphs higher in the recent weeks too as we worry about how they will affect us.
Stress has been named and shamed as making the risk of death 5 times (³) more likely and exposed it as the culprit of a loss of up to 20 million days for businesses, so it’s high time we looked at ways to improve our lifestyles and put stress back where it belongs!
“We know from various studies that plants help to reduce stress – one of the biggest causes of heart disease as well as costing businesses through absenteeism. Just one plant can have an amazingly positive effect on people reducing their stress levels by 50% (¹),” says eFIG’s (²) chairman, Thomas Palfreyman.
Research by a workplace consultancy firm Croner found that the top three causes of stress for UK employees were work (63%), finances (62%) and the economy (49%).
Croner commented that high levels of stress could lead to absence, staff turnover and poor morale in the workplace and advise, “Stress issues should not be put on the back burner as it has a direct effect on productivity and impacts on an organization’s reputation and customer satisfaction. The problems that cause stress should be tackled head on.”
More to the Power of Plants
Several research studies have confirmed that plants – even views of them – reduce stress levels. A new study published early this year in Australia confirmed that just one plant on a desk – at work or in the home office – could have a really positive effect on people’s moods and reduce depression and anxiety by 50 & 60%.
Even Chris Evans on his Breakfast Show quoted research by Dr David Lewis which claims that workers can reduce their stress levels by 60% by looking at a plant for 15 minutes.
And plant-induced calm employees are more satisfied with their jobs, less likely to jump ship and join another company, more focused, perform better by as much as 12% and are more motivated.
If businesses used plants as part of their stress management programmes, they could have a very positive effect on the bottom line.
With National Stress Awareness Day coming up, maybe it’s time to relook at your stress management policies?
(¹)’Greening the Great Indoors for Human Health and Well-being’, Margaret Burchett et al, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2010
(²) eFIG, the European Federation of Interior Landscaping Industries is a not-for-profit, membership based organization
(³) Stress increases ‘risk of death five-fold’ – article in The Telegraph, 9 September 2010