Respected research done by Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University, Helen Russell, Surrey University, England as well as those conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University verify that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance worker productivity.
In Dr. Lohr’s study, common interior plants were used in a computer laboratory with 27 computer workstations. A computer program to test productivity and induce stress was specifically designed for these experiments. Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants.
Beginning with the early data published by Dr. Bill Wolverton, following his work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and including more recent ‘real world’ research lead by Dr. Ron Wood, Professor Margaret Burchett and others in Australia, we now know that several common species of interior landscape plants have the ability to remove compounds such as benzene and hexane in the range of 50% to 75% of the total volatile organic compounds. Internationally respected in the field of air quality research, Dr. Burchett goes so far as to declare the following. “…to ensure sustainability of the urban environment, satisfying the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, social and economic considerations, it is expected that indoor plants will become standard technology–a vital building installation element, for improving indoor air quality.”
Simply stated, not only are plants really nice to look at, they are one of the hardest workers in any office setting. And they won’t complain or need a break.