Home & Garden

Why having a plant at work can make you less stressed

There's a hidden benefit to bringing the outside in.

Plant Credit: Viacheslav Peretiatko/Getty Images

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Between deadlines, last-minute projects, and demanding clients (or bosses!), work can be a pretty stressful place. And while a lot of that is unfortunately out of your control, there are things you can do to relieve at least some of that stress—like keep a plant on your desk, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Hyogo in Japan reported that plants in the office can have a marked impact on your mood and your stress levels. Here's exactly what you need to know about the science behind it all, along with our experts' favorite places for getting your greenery online.

How plants reduce stress

Desk
Credit: Getty Images

The more plants, the better.

During the study, scientists measured the physiological and psychological stress levels of office workers before and after placing a plant (like a bonsai or cactus) on their desk. They found that just the presence of the plant caused those levels to decrease and even lowered the employees' heart rates.

And it isn't the first study to confirm the calming effect of plants (or nature in general). Past research has shown time and time again that plants can make you feel more relaxed and calm, boost happiness, and even make you more focused. That's because being around nature evokes feelings of being outside which gives you energy and makes you feel more refreshed, experts say.

Where to buy plants online

Sill
Credit: Reviewed/Betsey Goldwasser

Like Amazon, but for plants.

Yes, online shopping for plants exists and yes, it's just as amazing—and convenient—as it sounds. One of our favorite sites to order from is The Sill. Our managing editor, Meghan Kavanaugh, tried out the popular plant delivery service for herself and was pleasantly surprised. As someone who's been known to kill even the hardiest of succulents, she skeptically ordered a ZZ plant. "Almost six months since it arrived in the mail—and several city bus rides later as I took it to and from the office—it’s still thriving, sitting next to me on my desk at work while it snows in Boston," she raves.

To be fair, The Sill didn’t turn Meghan into a plant expert overnight—she admits that the plant is largely still alive because of its quality and natural stamina. However, she says, "The amount of resources and tips available on The Sill's website is fantastic. Everything is all in one place and presented in a way that makes it easy for newbies like myself to put them into practice." She also learned that she had been committing some pretty serious plant sins (like not rotating it for sunlight and giving it too much water). A.k.a. The Sill isn't just a great place to order high-quality plants but it's also a great place to learn how to take care of them.

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