Think of your houseplants as little green wellness champions!
GRCC is helping students and employees focus on all areas of health and wellness as we emerge together from the pandemic.
Wellness is a full integration of physical, mental and spiritual health. That includes physical health, but so much more. During the next year we’re also looking at emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational health, and how we all can work to help ourselves and each other.
There are many resources at GRCC to help all of these types of wellness. Each week, we’ll introduce you to people and places here on campus ready to support you on your wellness journey.
GRCC has a greenhouse on the fifth floor of the Calkins Science Center, a working lab for students in biological science classes. You can take a peek in the large windows, see students working and be inspired to have some small potted plants on your desk or windowsill.
Dr. Matt Douglas has been a member of the Biology Department since 1993, and has taught botany classes for the last eight years. He has degrees from the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Kansas. He’s a nationally known expert on butterflies, especially monarchs.
And, he likes plants. That’s good, because according to a 2020 article on the Healthline website, there are many wellness benefits to having plants in your home and office.
Indoor plants may help reduce stress levels
A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that plants in your home or office can make you feel more comfortable, soothed, and natural.
Real plants may sharpen your attention
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health indicated brain scans of the participants showed students who studied with live plants in the classroom were more attentive and better able to concentrate than students in classes with plastic plants, no plants or photos of plants.
Working with plants can be therapeutic
For people experiencing mental wellness challenges, indoor gardening can be helpful. Researchers have used horticultural therapy to increase feelings of well-being among people with depression, anxiety, dementia, and other conditions. Medical clinics in Manchester, England are now recommending potted plants to patients with depression or anxiety symptoms.
Plants may help you recover from illness faster
A 2002 study by Texas A&M University researchers revealed that people recuperating from several kinds of surgery needed less pain medication and had shorter hospital stays than people who weren’t looking at greenery during their recovery periods.
Plants may boost your productivity
Multiple studies have found that plants in the workspace increase both productivity and creativity. A 1996 study from the Journal of Environmental Horticulture found that students in a campus computer lab worked 12 percent faster and were less stressed when plants were placed nearby.
Plants may improve your whole outlook on work
A 2016 study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health interviewed over 440 employees in India and the United States. They found that those whose office environment included natural elements like indoor plants felt greater job satisfaction and more commitment to the organization than those who didn’t work around natural elements.
Plants may improve the quality of indoor air
A 1980s NASA study about phytoremediation — plants scrubbing contaminants from the air – considered ways to improve air quality in sealed spacecraft. Now, you’d need a lot of plants to match our modern biofilters, but every bit helps!