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Plants the cure for workplace depression?

Australian workers are less likely to experience bad moods if there are plants in the office, a new survey has found. greener offices

The three year study, conducted by the University of Technology Sydney, found reductions of up to 58 percent in the negative mood states and feelings of stress experienced by people with plants in their office. The study showed that in this environment workers experienced less anxiety, depression and anger, as well as less fatigue and confusion.

The results indicate how plants can be used to increase office productivity, says the head of the study, Adjunct Professor Margaret Burchett.

“We found such significant difference in scores for participants in offices with plants as opposed to those without, that it confirms the benefits of indoor plants extend well beyond their contribution to air quality,” reported Adjunct Professor Burchett.

“While our group of 40 people was small, the results were very significant because of the proven methods used.  The sizeable reductions in negative mood states like tension can only have a positive effect on productivity and satisfaction,” said Professor Burchett.

The results add further evidence for the benefit of plants for occupant well-being, not only in office buildings but in almost any other type of building as well, affirms Professor Burchett.

“The major national environmental goal is that of producing sustainable urban communities and indoor plants have the potential to contribute to the triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic considerations,” said Professor Burchett.