It's officially that time of the year where we slowly start swapping our leggings for bicycle shorts, pass up a fitness class for an outdoor run, and hop on any chance to log some quality time in the outdoors. And while there's nothing quite like getting some vitamin D IRL, there's no reason you can't keep reaping the health benefits of nature year-round.
Indoor plants don't just add some life to your décor—they can actually improve your overall health to boot. Scientists have found that just looking at greenery can help reduce anxiety and pain, so consider this your excuse to build a bona fide jungle in your living room. Check out some of the impressive health benefits of indoor plants below.
Hot tip for the office: Keeping a potted plant on your desk might be an easy way to get ahead. A 2014 study conducted by the University of Exeter showed that after researchers provided plants to a previously sleek and spare office environment, productivity improved by 15%. Employees also reported improvements in memory and mood.
Believe it or not, just looking at plants can temper your perception of discomfort. In a 1993 study, researchers put white panels, abstract paintings, and landscape photographs in different hospital rooms. Remarkably, the patients looking at the landscape photographs didn't just report less anxiety than the others—they also needed less pain medication. Scientists hypothesize that by reducing cortisol levels and improving mood, plants can help accelerate the healing process—something to keep in mind as we trudge through the remainder of cold and flu season.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.