A study has revealed that keeping plants on the working desks can reduce stress and anxiety amongst the employees. The study was undertaken by researchers from the University of Hyogo, Japan, and published in HortTechnology.
Sixty-three workers from across the nation participated in the study, which was done in an open area and amidst real office settings rather than in laboratories.
The researchers tracked the psychological and physiological changes in the employees before and after keeping a plant on their desks.
In the first phase, which was the controlled phase, there were no plants involved. This was followed by an intervention period, where the employees were allowed to look at a small plant and take care of it.
The participants were directed to take rest after every three minutes or when they felt tired and stressed.
The researchers measured the anxiety and stress in employees by using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) method. They examined the changes in the employees when they gazed at a plant intentionally, on feeling fatigued or stressed, and how this activity served as a stress-reducing factor during office hours.
The employees could pick a plant of their choice and keep it beside their PC monitors. Each employee could choose one plant from a range of six types of indoor plants, namely air plants, bonsai plants, san pedro cactus, foliage plants, kokedama, and echeveria.
The result showed a significant decrease in the stress level of employees when they interacted passively or actively with the plants, irrespective of the plant type or the age group of the employees.