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#2013alive: Go Green Indoors!


It’s month 6, week 4, of our 12 Months of Wellness. This week, we’re looking at nurturing Mother Nature inside our homes - with houseplants!

This week for our 12 Months of Wellness, we’re taking a look at how to how to bring some green back into the indoors.

As nice as it is to enjoy plants out in their natural habitat, the reality is that many of us have to spend quite a bit of time inside. However, just because we can’t always get out doesn’t mean that we can’t get our daily dose of nature in other ways. Whether at work, in the classroom, or at home, adding some houseplants to our indoor surroundings is a great way to keep us in tune with nature—and can even provide some health benefits.

Take a deep breath

A study done by NASA found particular types of houseplants to be very effective of ridding the air of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, which can be found in many common building materials and has been associated with “sick building syndrome”, leading to symptoms such as asthma, allergies, and headaches. Further research found that indoor plants reduced particulate matter by 30 percent in school classrooms. Try placing an air-cleansing potted plant in a particularly stuffy room of your house, or anywhere that is lacking optimal ventilation.

Stay focused

In a 2011 study, researchers tested the attention spans of students working in office settings that had plants, and in ones that didn’t. They found that the students who were tested in the setting with plants experienced less fatigue while performing cognitive tasks than those who were in the shrub-less offices. Other studies have shown houseplants to improve students’ performance in math and spelling, and to enhance creativity and mood.

Feeling anxious? Studies also show that rooms with potted plants are perceived to be less stressful than those without them—looks like keeping your workday stress-free and productive could be as simple as keeping a flowery friend by your desk.

Planting the seed

Plant maintenance doesn’t need to be a chore. These houseplants are easy to grow and can survive with very little water—perfect if your green thumb isn’t naturally nurturing.

  • Barrel cactus
  • Cast-Iron plant
  • Corn plant

What’s your favourite way of bringing greenery indoors? Send us a Tweet using the #2013alive hashtag to let us know! You can also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and follow our blog posts to see how we’re doing with our goals.

Worried about falling behind? Download our June goal sheet to make sure you stay on track—you’re halfway there.



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Leah PayneLeah Payne