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Case Study: Interior Plants Can Reduce Stress, Improve Perception By Mary Jane Gilhooley and Chris Rice
Studies are showing that indoor house plants can reduce stress while improving perceptions. Now, many health care facilities are using interior plants to create a more relaxing and inviting environment for patients, resulting in a more positive healing experience. In one study1, subjects used a computer program in a room with or without potted plants present. Blood pressure readings, emotional states and pulses were measured during the experiment. At the conclusion of the experiment, these measurements indicated that participants who worked in the presence of indoor plants were less stressed than those who did not.
To heal, patients need to relax and de-stress. As this study shows, interior plants can provide patients with the calming environment necessary for optimal healing. In other studies out of England’s Oxford Brookes University, indoor plants have been shown to offer a guarantee of positively enhancing perception and contributing to well being. The same set of studies concludes that people perceive a building with potted plants as more welcoming and more relaxed. Conversely, the studies show that people’s perceptions of a building are less positive in the absence of indoor plants.2
Plants, then, are likely to enhance patient perceptions of their surroundings upon entering a health care facility. Their perception of their health care facility as welcoming and relaxed will help them to be more relaxed themselves, speeding the healing process. According to Carol Jaco, Senior Vice President of Patient Care for Hannibal Regional Hospital (Hannibal, Mo.), an interior plant installation in its mall lobby area has been a big success. “Patients and families really react to these potted plants, and many have remarked that the combination of indoor plants and extensive light foster a sense of hope and comfort,” says Jaco. “Our interior plantings bring a sense of calming energy to the open and spacious architecture of the hospital. We believe that the appealing green space is an important overall contributor to individual and family well-being for all who turn to us for care.”
1. Lohr, V.I., C.H. Pearson-Mims, and G.K. Goodwin, 1996. Interior plants may improve worker productivity and reduce stress in a windowless environment.
2. Stiles, J. 1995. PhD thesis at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England.
Southern Botanical, Dallas, TX provides high quality indoor and outdoor landscape and irrigation installation and plant maintenance services in the DFW area. We are the one vendor for your complete interior and exterior horticultural décor.
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