When pandemic started, everyone was sent home. For a lot of people it meant that they are going to be left in their apartments totally alone. It’s too impulsive to get a dog and too much of a risk to get a roommate during quarantine. So people began to buy plants - minimum hassle and a nice silent companion.
Reasons to buy plants were different for everybody. Some were spending more time at home and decided to beautify it, many tried to distract themselves from everything that was and is happening in the world.
No matter the reason, buying and taking care of plants yielded positive results for people’s mental health during a pandemic.
More than 25 percent of people who responded to the poll, created by Stoneside, said that taking care of plants eased their stress levels by a great amount. Those who admitted talking to their plants apparently benefited the most from such interaction. More information about the poll here.
Why plant though?
Every year scientists conduct dozens of studies on the benefits of plants for physical and mental health. Main subject can vary from the impact green colour has on the human eye to the effect plants have on our stress level.
In December 2019, HortTechnology published a study showing that plants can reduce stress levels and anxiety during work.
63 Japanese office workers took part in this study. Each of them had to take breaks as soon as they started to feel tired. During breaks, they were given an opportunity to take care of a small plant.
A month later, researchers noticed that more than a quarter of the participants had a decreased heart rate - a good sign of stress response. And surveys showed that their anxiety decreased too.
Office workers were given a task to choose a favorite plant, which, researchers noted, should have insured sympathy for the plant and increased involvement in caring for it.
This small but significant emotional attachment was intended to maintain interest and, potentially, increase the impact of a positive outcome on the employee's emotional state.
Many studies have been conducted on the impact of plants on human physical condition. Plants are especially crucial for air quality. So whether you buy them to breathe better, to beautify your house or to have something that will carefully listen and remain silent in response, there are varied benefits.
And great news for those who can’t even keep a cactus alive. In 2019 study researchers stated that dead plants “did not have a very profound effect on participants’ psychological stress”.