The long commute to the office, traffic, deadlines, a heavy workload, an annoying colleague or an unappreciative boss – there are a lot of reasons we experience work stress. But often small steps can help lower it. For example, flirting with your colleagues and getting a succulent for your desk.
Researchers at the University of Hyogo (Japan) led by Dr. Masahiro Toyoda have found that tending to a plant at work can help lower stress and anxiety levels. Their study has been published in the journal HortTechnology.
According to CNBC, researchers studied the stress and anxiety levels of 63 full-time desk workers (aged 24 to 58) over the course of 4 weeks. Each participant was asked to take a 3-minute break when they felt overwhelmed with work. During this time they were encouraged to water their desk plants.
Mail Online reports that pulse rates of 27% of participants and the heart rate of 17% of participants fell due to the plants. Dr. Toyoda was quoted saying,
“Gazing at a plant creates separation from stressors and provides the participants opportunities to remove themselves from the strain of work if only for a few minutes each time.”
It is not possible to take a walk in the park during working hours so why not bring some nature to your office? Plants are also known to uplift our moods and also boost creativity.