Bringing Nature Indoors
1. Breathing Easier
Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels. At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants – orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads – do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Place these plants in bedrooms to refresh air during the night.
2. Releasing Water
Plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. Studies at the Agricultural University of Norway document that using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs. Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay.
3. Purifying Air
Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research. Modern climate-controlled, air-tight buildings trap VOCs inside. The NASA research discovered that plants purify that trapped air by pulling contaminants into soil, where root zone microorganisms convert VOCs into food for the plant.
4. Improving Health
Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner. Adding plants to office settings decreases fatigue, colds, headaches, coughs, sore throats and flu-like symptoms sickness rates fell by more than 60 percent in offices with plants.
5. Sharpening Focus
A study at The Royal College of Agriculture in England, found that students demonstrate 70 percent greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.
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