You’ve tried deep breathing and all it did was make you dizzy.
Fidget cubes left you bored.
Squish balls? All they did was to make your hand tired.
If you find yourself feeling like a nervous wreck at work despite trying the standard stress reducers, a new study may have the solution.
Researchers from Japan’s University of Hyogo looked at 63 office workers. Rather than put the employees in a lab, the scientists observed them in their regular work environment.
First, the workers went through a control period of normal working days. Then, the researchers asked them to select a plant to keep on their desks. They had a choice of bonsai plants, air plants, san pedro cactus, foliage plants, kokedama, or echeveria.
The scientists took note of when the workers interacted with their plants. This could be passive (just looking at the plant), or active (watering and caring for the plant).
Before and after the study, the researchers measured the subjects’ stress levels two ways: psychological testing and pulse rates.
The employees’ stress and anxiety decreased significantly after getting the plants. It worked for subjects of all ages and no matter which type of plant they chose.
Top 5 Best Plants for Offices
Not all plants are suited to living in an office environment. You want something that isn’t too picky about light conditions. And it should be able to thrive without daily watering to survive weekends, vacations, sick days, etc.
Here are five plants that fit the bill:
- Air plants. These were one of the choices used in the study. Also called tillandsias, they don’t need soil to grow. You can use fishing line to attach them to a decorative surface such as a piece of driftwood. Air plants only need to be sprayed or immersed in water every 10 days.
- Cactus. They are easy to care for. They shouldn’t be kept in dim light, but they require watering just once every three weeks in the autumn and winter. In spring and summer, once a week.
- Pothos. Also called devil’s ivy, it will grow under almost any lighting conditions. And it doesn’t need constant watering. If the leaves become droopy, that means it’s thirsty.
- ZZ plant. One of the hardest plants to kill. It thrives in moderate to brighter sunlight, but will survive in low light. Like a cactus, it can get by without water for extended periods. If you happen to let it go too long and it starts to die, it easily revives with a good watering.
- Ficus. Another plant that’s indifferent to how much sunlight it gets. It doesn’t require more than weekly watering…and less in the winter.
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