The study – funded by Hort Innovation and undertaken by the University of Melbourne and RMIT University – reviewed 101 pieces of relevant research and found that placing even one plant in a small room increases air quality by 25 percent. The addition of two plants results in 75 percent rise in air quality and a 45 percent boost in mental wellbeing, while five or more plants offers the maximum amount of these perks.
“The benefits of plants come under two categories," Lead researcher Dominique Hes explained.
"There’s the wellbeing benefits around higher productivity, being more relaxed, getting a better night’s sleep and being able to deal with life better. That’s because the base brain evolved in nature so when we’re connected to nature it’s more relaxed and we’re able to do those higher functions – be creative, intuitive and so forth.
“The other category is air quality, the taking out of toxins, small particulates and dust out of the air.”
According to the World Health Organisation, the health impacts of indoor air pollution are wide ranging with strong evidence that it can lead to acute and chronic respiratory conditions, certain cancers and stroke.
The research also found that when it comes to wellbeing benefits, the variety and arrangement of indoor plants can have a significant influence.
That's the idea behind the Plant Life Balance app which, in collaboration with horticulturist and Founder of The Planthunter Georgina Reid, have created a new range of "looks" to help anyone style their space with greenery.
"The wellbeing aspect is improved when the space looks how you like it, it feels comfortable and that’s where the app comes in," Dominique says. "There are different looks – you can go the shabby chic, you can go the full rainforest or you can go the minimalist look – and so depending on what feels comfortable for you, that’s what will determine the number of plants and how well your wellbeing scores are."
Who else is inspired to get their green thumb on?!