Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment

Posted by Phil Hollins on Jun 14, 2016

Authors: Lohr, V.I., Pearson-Mims, C.H. and Goodwin, G.K.

Year of publication: 1996

Publication: Environ Hor 97-100

Keywords: stress, emotional well-being, office, plants, productivity,

Link to publication
Research by Washington State University (1996) investigated the impact of the addition of indoor plants to a college computer lab environment.

In total, 96 participants (range 18 to 46 years old) had their blood pressure and emotional well-being assessed. These tests were undertaken either in the presence or absence of plants and also whilst undertaking a timed computer task.

Each participant was assessed pre-task using a questionnaire together with blood pressure and pulse readings. Further blood pressure and pulse readings were taken during the computer task and also post-task together with a final assessment questionnaire.

The findings from statistical analysis indicate, that when plants were added to the interior space, participants’ responses were found to be:

  • More productive (12% quicker reaction time on the computer task)
  • Less stressed (systolic blood pressure readings lowered by one to four units)

Furthermore, they reported greater attentiveness (+0.5 increase on scale) compared to those colleagues who were not exposed to plants.

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