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Study investigates the health benefits of indoor plants at work

Japanese researchers explored the health benefits of indoor plants on reducing the stress level of employees in a work environment.

In a recent study, researchers set out to explore the health benefits of indoor plants on reducing the stress level of employees in the work environment by simply staring at a plant during rest.

The researchers studied sixty-three employees who were told to rest and sit for three minutes when they felt exhausted. In this study, there were two time-periods involved – the control period without plants and the intervention period with plants. The intervention period involved staring at the plant and caring for the plant during rest. Information regarding the psychological and physiological stress of the participants was also gathered as part of the study. The participants’ psychological stress was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), while physiological stress was measured by taking the participants’ pulse rate.

The researchers published their results in the journal Hort Technology. The study reported that after the intervention period, the STAI scores and pulse rate were reduced. The results of the study suggest that having indoor plants in the work environment might have beneficial health effects, in particular, by reducing stress and improving mental health parameters.

According to the author Masahiro Toyoda, “At present, not so many people fully understand and utilize the benefit of stress recovery brought by plants in the workplace. To ameliorate such situations, we decided it essential to verify and provide scientific evidence for the stress restorative effect by nearby plants in a real office setting.”

Written by Neha Ramjuttun


  1. Toyoda, M., Yokota, Y., Barnes, M. and Kaneko, M. (2019). Potential of a Small Indoor Plant on the Desk for Reducing Office Workers’ Stress. HortTechnology, pp.1-9.
  2. EurekAlert!. (2020). Plants can improve your work life. [online] Available at:

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay



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