Of all the gardening quotes I know, my favorite is the one about ‘gardening being cheaper than therapy, plus you get tomatoes’. How true, in so many ways! Research on human issues in horticulture show that plants have measurable positive effects on our health and mental well-being.
Just looking at plants can lower our alertness levels and let our senses rest for a while. After a stressful situation, the sight of plants or green scenery may lower blood pressure and muscle tension more than looking at urban landscapes. Plants lead our thoughts away from anxiety. Some research suggests that this fact reveals the short history of the human race: our bodies are simply not yet tuned into look at houses, streets and asphalt.
A city dweller can spend more than 80 % of his time indoors. This is why it’s important to have plants in homes, offices and public places. They help clean both the air and our thoughts. Jari Lyytimäki, a senior researcher at the Finnish Environmental Institute gives some (veggie) food for thought: with the degree of urbanization we face, wouldn’t it be easier to bring nature indoors than try to lure people outside?
Until my next blog, keep your eyes on all things green!