Have you taken your houseplant for a walk today? The 27 July is celebrated worldwide as Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day. Strange but true but not as made as you think. The day is more about learning to take care of your houseplant during a walk as people exchange tips about how to care for their houseplants with other like-minded green-fingered or footed walkers. It all sounds very silly, until you start looking at the many ways in which houseplants are good for us. So here are our top seven benefits of having a houseplant, whether you take it for a walk or not:
1) Provision of oxygen: We breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Houseplants through photosynthesis, do the reverse which means we have air that has the required amount of oxygen to keep us alive. Fresher, cleaner air makes it less likely you will get a headache and be nice alert during the day. Be careful at night if you keep houseplants in your bedroom: during darkness they too take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. To still have oxygenated air at night, have succulents or orchids in your bedroom which will still expire oxygen into the air at night, improving the quality of your sleep.
2) Glowing skin: It is not only oxygen that plants produce, but they also evaporate 97% of the water they drink-in through their leaves. This could be as much as 10% of the atmosphere. So to keep your skin moisturised, rather than invest in an expensive and rather ugly humidifier, go for the more aesthetically pleasing houseplant. The chances of suffering from colds, sore throats, dry coughs and flu are also reduced according to the Agricultural University of Norway. Should you suffer from a cold, eucalyptus will help clear the congestion. Save your business money by investing in some plants for your workplace as well as in your home, to reduce absenteeism through sickness.
3) Breath cleaner air: Plants such as the peace lily, English ivy, chrysanthemum, gerber daisy, bamboo palm, azalea, dragon tree and the spider plant have been found by NASA to remove as much as 87% of toxic vapours such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. When buildings are sealed with air-conditioning instead of open windows, inside spaces can have 12 times the pollutants than outside caused by paint, furnishings and the buildings themselves. If you are a smoker, counteract some of the pollutants by having plenty of houseplants.
4) Improve post-op recovery: Patients with plants in their rooms post surgery had lower systolic blood pressure, less pain, stress, tiredness and an earlier discharge from hospital (Kansas State University).
5) Aid healing: If you have sunburn or a minor burn, apply aloe vera; apply arnica and comfrey to a bruise or sprain and calendula to small wounds. Try drinking chamomile tea to calm an upset stomach.
6) Enhanced memory and concentration: Surround yourself with plants when you work to improve your retention by up to 20% (University of Michigan), accuracy and creativity. One study showed that two potted plants and a bunch of flowers in a room increased the number of ideas workers had by 13% (Texas A&M). The Royal College of Agriculture, Cirencester found an increase of 70% in attentiveness when students were taught in rooms with plants. This is probably to do with the increase in oxygen and humidity although one interesting finding was that attendance also increased too. We like to be near nature so if you want to draw people to a room or make them feel welcome, include a plant or two; hence they often dominate reception areas.
7) They make us happy: We enjoy nurturing plants, watching flowers grow and even having the odd conversation with them. It is no wonder that plants are seen to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and encourage relaxation and positivity. Add them along with our signs to improve the look of your environment, making it seem more spacious and cleaner.
So place a plant within 100 square feet of your internal space that can easily be seen by all, and for one day every year take it for a walk, leaving our ‘Gone Walking’ sign behind of course!
You will feel and be much healthier, happier and productive for it.