Filling up the workspace with plants could help combat sick days and reduce stress levels, a new study has discovered, as reported in The Independent.
Illness spread fast in high-rise office buildings and this is often associated with poor ventilation and chemicals used in office furniture which can cause an array of health concerns too.
However, new research has concluded that the answer could be as simple as investing in some greenery, which will help purify the air of toxic chemicals.
“One excellent way to combat both sick days and stress is by filling your office with plants,” the research said.
“Ideally, you want plants that will ‘scrub’ the air of pathogens, improve the office’s mix of bacteria, and survive in low light with little care.”
The researchers add that doing so can help clear the air of harmful substances found in some office furnishings including formaldehyde, benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, and even ammonia from cleaning products.
Similarly, while offices can be a breeding ground for bacteria which cause viruses, plant-associated bacteria could actually be good for you.
“Beneficial bacteria on indoor plants and in their soil are an important addition to the office, stabilising the ecology of the built synthetic environment,” they added.
“Plant-associated bacteria could also help to avoid outbreaks of pathogens by and balancing the complex network of the ecosystem.
“A wholesome balance may reduce the incidence of viral illness and the number of sick days among staff.”
The findings are also supported by a previous NASA study which found that keeping certain types of plants in your home could prevent you from getting sick.
The extensive list of plants included areca palm, aloe vera, English ivy, Boston fern, peace lily, weeping figs and lady palms – all of which are said to the purify the air.
Furthermore, introducing more plants to the office environment could also help tackle stress.
This is because studies have proven that green spaces and nature can help promote feelings of relaxation and calmness, which can contribute to the mood.