House Plants can Improve Mental Health During Covid-19 Lockdown and Isolation

Many people enjoy indoor plants and green spaces, but there is a lot more to it than aesthetic value. According to a new study, house plants can lower the risk of mental health problems during isolation, quarantine, or lockdown caused by Covid-19.

This study was conducted by the Research Group for Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering (NATURIB) under the University of Seville’s Escuela Técnica Superior of Agricultural Engineering. Other partners in this study include the research teams from the University of Genoa (from Italy), Hellenic Mediterranean University (from Greece), and the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (from Brazil).

This study reveals that house plants induce a positive change on a person, affecting the mental health and well-being of everyone who is home-ridden during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. This study is now published in the journal named Urban Forestry & Urban Greening and available online to view.

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These research teams evaluated the benefits of indoor house plants on the mental health of people, during the first wave of coronavirus when most of the countries went into a lockdown. This accounts for the period between March and June 2020 where millions of people were confined to their houses, under social distancing and strict lockdown rules.

The results from these evaluations confirmed that having house plants improve emotional well-being and mental health during isolation and lockdown. This response is recorded by data collected from thousands of people from 46 different countries, all of which experienced this lockdown and isolation at home. Nearly 74% of them confirmed that house plants improve mood and stress levels and 55.9%said that they would like to add more house plants during such a difficult time.

The stress levels, mental health issues, and negative emotions were more observant among people who had no indoor plants in their house. People living in small spaces or without green spaces also shared feeling more anxious and negative during this time.

About half of these respondents ( nearly 52%) confirmed that they spent their extra time taking care of their house plans during the lockdown period. Some 62.5% shared a desire to continue doing it even after the situation goes back to normal, after the pandemic.

In total, approximately 40% of the respondents showed that they will be happy to keep indoor house plants in the near future.

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There is plenty of data that shows that indoor plants can lower stress levels significantly and save the residents from sleeping troubles, anxiety, and depression. But these benefits only account for the real plants and not the fake plants which people use to enhance ornamental value.

Besides, if you are staying at home, or isolating, indoor gardening can be a good hobby. Horticulture therapy is one of the real therapeutic techniques to overcome anxiety, stress, and dementia. It has been around for many years but it has only been a small-time that clinics have suggested people participate in the home-based plantation schemes to relieve depression and anxiety.

Considering how this Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of the public, it looks like that using house plants can provide some real-time benefits, without spending on medical or stress-relieving treatment.

Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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