Source: Economic Times (1st June 2017, PAGE-20, New Delhi Edition)

Green in Office Means Good Health

Decorating your cubical with plants is an excellent way to liven up your workspace.But did you know apart from adding colour plant also boost your health?

U.S space research agency NASA spent two years testing house plants and come up with the list of 10 which can improve indoor air quality. Studies also suggest that plants offer a visually meditative effect to the work space, leading to happier and healthy employee who are more productive.

GitanjaliRajamani CEO of GreenMyLife in a platform of landscaping and garden maintenance services said, "Studies have shown that plant in the office space increase productivity by 20-45%. Having plant in the office has been shown to increase air quality, increase attention span, improve creativity, lower stress and stabilize mood. Having plants can reduce cold and cough, and so indirectly it also decreases absenteeism.

Health Benefits:

Most people spend large part of their lifespan in offices. It is said that poor quality indoor air can lead to health problems like headaches, eye fatigue, throat irritation and asthama, plants in workplace can change many such things. Rajamani said that health benefits of adding plants to the work place are multifold. Apart from improving air quality reducing fatigue bringing down intances of cold cough sore throat, they have psychological effect (such as been mood lifter) which reduces stress. It is well known that stress is a major cause of health problems in working population. Plants are also head to lower blood pressure, heal patient faster and improve sleep and mental health.

Natural Air Filters:

Upholstery, furnishing, outside pollutants getting inside, building material cleaning materials and closed cubicals with air conditioners can impact air quality badly. According to Dr.jyotiSangle Psychiatrist at DR LH Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, "Plants acts as natural healers. For example, aloe vera has many healing benefits, including it ability to clean the air. The Clean Air study done by NASA depicts that plants helps clean the air we breathe by eliminating harmful toxins. Spider plants will clean the air benzene carbon monoxide xylene. These are all common volatile organic compounds that are emmited by the items such as furniture, carpets, and common appliances such as computers and printers. "Plants regulates humidity and reduce carbon dioxide emission in your home and office.
It is known that during photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Plants helps increase oxygen level during day time. Interestingly there are plants like Orchids, succulents, snake plants and aloe vera which can release oxygen at night too, said DrRaghvendra Rao a naturopath in Bengaluru.

Stress Busters:

Rajamani said stress is silent killer. Stress goes undetected unlike other ailments and cause harm to all organ in the body. Plants in the work place have proved to alleviate stress, and having a few plants to care for on your desk can go a long way in managing the work related stress. Seeing a plant grow every day and caring for its acts as a great stress buster". According to Rao, the presence of plants leads to reduce stress and anxiety and improvement in mood and self-esteem. Plants also help ease depression and promote a sense of well-being. Plants help increase positivity and make us feel more relaxed. They can help with loneliness and depression. They can also improve concentration and memory said Sangle.

Growing Green Space:

Rajamani said "we are seeing an increasing trend of offices asking for plants in their interior spaces. Space van be transformed without spending a lot of money by just adding few plants here and there. The space become more welcoming and beautiful with the addition of the plants. Variety of foliage, colour, shape of leaves also adds drama to the surroundings".
Rao said "placing plants in office is not a new trend. Previously, it would be more of a decoration piece, but it proven health benefits are making people include plants in their indoors now". Importantly just one plant on your desk is enough to make all the difference, he said.

Plants that improve productivity

Peace Lily - Can improve indoor air quality as much as 60%. It is among the top houseplants used to purify air. This plant can even absorb harmful vapors from alcohol and acetone.

Spider Plant - It is easy to grow within two days this plant can remove upto 90% of toxins in indoor air. It helps absorb harmful substances like mould and other allergens so it is the perfect plant for those who have common dust allergies.

English Evey - It can absorb formaldehyde, commonly found in some household cleaning products and furniture. Keeping this plant on the desk can also absorb benzene a chemical found in the office equipment.

Ferns - it acts as humidifiers and can help restore moisture in the air so they are perect for those who suffer from dry skin and other weather related problems. They can also help eliminate traces of formaldehyde in building material.

Aloe Vera - It is better known for its healing properties, is also good for healing indoor air quality. It helps keep indoor free from benzene.

Chinese evergreen - It helps in removing air toxins commonly found in chemical based household cleaners.

Snake Plant - This plant purifies the air removes formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide produced by fuel burning appliances.

Palm - This plant is ideal for creating natural separation of space in your office. It is perfect for offices which don't require a lot of light.

Pothos or Money plant - The pothos plant can fit perfectly on most desktop. It is low maintenance and cen be left on the desk for the long durations without needing much care.

Weeping fig - It is a large plant that can filter pollutants from carpets and furniture, such as formaldehyde and benzene.

Source: Economic Times (1st June 2017, PAGE-20, New Delhi Edition)