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Sharp Health News

Health benefits of houseplants

Sept. 20, 2019

Health benefits of houseplants
You may think NASA focuses all of its efforts on space; however, some of the science and technology agency’s expertise was refocused on our own living spaces right here on Earth. During early efforts to examine how to create sustainable living environments for long-term habitation in space, scientists discovered that plants can help improve air quality in your home.

Synthetic materials within your home — much like they might have in a space station — can release toxic chemicals. Being exposed to these toxins can increase your risk for a variety of illnesses, including stroke, heart disease, respiratory infections and lung cancer.

The good news is that houseplants not only look attractive, they can also do the job that trees and plants do outside — clean the air you breathe, removing close to 90% of air toxins.

Houseplants and your health
What’s more, studies have found that plants can help with feelings of loneliness. When you care for plants, your sense of purpose and ability for compassion toward people increases, which leads to better relationships.

Gardening — both indoor and outdoor — also fills time, keeps you moving and reduces your risk for dementia. The hobby can lead you to connect more with others who have similar interests, both online and in person. In general, having houseplants can make you happier.

Health hack and home décor trend
Luckily, all these benefits perfectly merge with a recent interior design trend — houseplants are the hot décor item to have. In fact, 30% of all households bought at least one houseplant in 2019. Houseplants can be found on windowsills, tabletops, mantels, shelves, stairs or hanging in every available corner, in households of all sizes, from small, urban studio apartments to large estates.

Want to start your own collection of houseplants? Consider the following first:

  • How much space you have — Do you plan to hang small planters or place indoor trees throughout your home?
  • The natural light in your home — Do you have too much or not enough direct sunlight for the plants you hope to purchase?
  • Whether you have pets — Some plants are toxic to animals. Have you done your research or talked to an expert about your pet’s safety?
  • Your design style — Do you prefer all leafy green plants or want to add dashes of color?
  • Your experience caring for plants — Can you dive right into a new collection of houseplants or will you need a little guidance on plant care?
  • The amount of time you have to care for your plants — Are you prepared to carefully water, monitor room temperatures, analyze soil and more, or do you prefer the simplicity of something like a succulent?
Talk to the experts at your local nursery, home improvement store, garden center or even members of your neighborhood’s garden club. They can help you purchase the right plants for your budget, space and needs, so that you, too, can bring a little nature inside and reap the health and wellness benefits of houseplants.

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