In addition to making our workspaces feel more serene and inviting, indoor plants can also help to improve the quality of the air we breathe. In 1989, NASA conducted a landmark clean air study which examined the cleansing effects of plant life on indoor air quality. The study was designed to find new ways to clean stagnant air in space stations, but its findings have been widely applied to indoor spaces here on earth as well. NASA found that a number of common indoor plant species are capable of absorbing harmful airborne toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia, thereby improving the quality of the air we breathe.
Now, additional research conducted in a joint effort between Harvard and Syracuse Universities has found that improved indoor air quality can have a beneficial effect on our productivity at work as well.
In this study, researchers studied the behavior of employees in two distinct environments. One group was placed in a stereotypically stale office environment, while the other was placed in a “green” office with improved ventilation systems and reduced emission levels. After analyzing the results of their study, the researchers found that test subjects performed cognitive tasks 61 percent more effectively when working in the green office environment.
Another similar study found that employees working in green-certified office environments reported fewer incidents of headaches and respiratory issues, and slept better at night. Because the employees were well-rested and healthy, they also performed 27 percent better at cognitive tasks than their counterparts in non-green work environments.
Want to learn more about how indoor plants can make your workspace cleaner, healthier and more productive? Check out some of the work we’ve done for our clients in the past, or give us a call today to speak with a representative!