This study documents some of the benefits of adding plants to a windowless work place—a college computer lab. Participants' blood pressure and emotions were monitored while completing a simple, timed computer task in the presence or absence of plants. When plants were added to this interior space, the participants were more productive (12% quicker reaction time on the computer task) and less stressed (systolic blood pressure readings lowered by one to four units). Immediately after completing the task, participants in the room with plants present reported feeling more attentive (an increase of 0.5 on a self-reported scale from one to five) than people in the room with no plants.
The authors express appreciation for the assistance of Marvin Kleene (former. coordinator of the computer lab) and Anthony Wright (Information Department Computer Coordinator) and for the financial support of the American Floral Endowment and The Horticultural Research Institute (Ernst Bietenholz/Imperial Nurseries Grant), 1250 I. Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005.
2Associate Professor, Research Technologist III, and Graduate Assistant, respectively.