Get Houseplants.

Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

10th Nov 2022 • 04 Min and 57 Sec

Houseplants boost your health and wellbeing. Research states that we spend 80% of our time indoor and houseplants are the best way to bring nature into the home
We are all mortal who wants to improve our health and well-being with one simple thing without any hassle, but what is the right advice? Is it planking? or squats? Or drinking bacteria to develop mental health? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr. Priyanka, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one simple thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

I’m in my room, which has been bland for a long time until I decided to grow houseplants as my one simple thing, and I have been working hard just to keep them in good shape. 

I went “Go green” in my room, not just because they brighten the place up (which they do). But research suggests they can boost memory, mood, and productivity and even reduce indoor air pollution. 

But what’s indoor air pollution?

We all know that air pollution is terrible for our health. But many don’t realize that indoor air pollution can also be a serious workplace and home problem. Studies state indoor air pollution can cause a range of health problems, particularly in children including asthma, wheezing, conjunctivitis, dermatitis, and eczema. The air pollutants they looked at are VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) released from building materials, furnishing, aerosol spray, and cleaning products. 

Apart from VOCs, we also inhale a lot of carbon dioxide CO2, much of it produced by us. In average concentrations, CO2 is harmless, but in higher concentrations, it can impact thinking and decision-making. 

So introducing your workplace or home with houseplants will make a difference?

The houseplants can significantly reduce the levels of Volatile organic compounds and CO2 from the air in the sealed chamber. 

Recent studies convey that when a lot of houseplants were brought into the office, one plant per square meter, there was a measurable improvement in memory and mood. In one concentration test, employees who had a view of plants completed the test 19% faster than employees in a room with no houseplants. 

Another Norway survey assessed how introducing houseplants in offices leads to less coughs, headaches, and fatigue. Now we don’t exactly know why that happened. But it could be that plants can improve the air quality, or perhaps being surrounded by plants mentally helped the participants’ well-being.

There are strong suggestions that houseplants can improve productivity and attention both when it’s self-reported and measured through various experiments. People report more stress, less efficiency, and reduced attention on taking them away. So technically, it’s not what it does for you when you bring them; it’s what it does when you take them away. 

And yes, obviously, there are limitations on what we can expect. If you are having a massive problem on your shoulder, no amount of house plant can help to fix it for you. But for small everyday life tasks, houseplants certainly can play a crucial role. Houseplants can help get rid of some very unpleasant gases and help increase the humidity in the house, so it’s a win-win. 

So what plants should you get? And how many?

Fast-growing, thirsty, physiologically active plants can give more service. So in practical terms, plants like peace lily, devil’s ivy, and other succulent plants which easy to look after. 

For an average room in your house, you probably at least need 5 or 6 plants to have a measurable impact on CO2 and NO2 concentrations.

So if you manage to keep them alive, bring more houseplants in. It’s maybe time for you to create an indoor tropical garden. 

That’s one simple thing to include in your daily routine to improve your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” to know one more simple thing for your better tomorrow.