Spring has sprung, and for many folks, ‘tis the season of gardening, outdoor gatherings, and all things sunshine. Getting out into nature no doubt does a body good. But surrounding yourself with greenery indoors can also be beneficial, according to new science.
According to recent research from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, bringing the outdoors into our indoors living quarters can boost our moods and (get this) our longevity. This eight-year study investigated the possible link between vegetation and life expectancy.
The results? Data from the study showed that women whose homes boast vegetation showed improved mental health and increased life expectancies.
Researchers acknowledged that the majority of the focus on planting vegetation has been on the accompanying environmental benefits – like mitigating the effects of climate change. But, they argue, their study’s new findings suggest planting may offer co-benefits. This large-scale study is one of the first attempts to take a nationwide look at the link between high levels of vegetation and health.
Data pointing to improved health for planters and tenders may get everyone on board with cultivating a green thumb.
A few underlying factors were identified for the link between greenness and mortality rates. For starters, master gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts alike seemed to have lower levels of depression. These folks were more likely to be physically active, had less exposure to harmful air pollution (via the air purifying qualities of plants), had increased productivity, lower blood pressure levels, and experienced increased opportunities for social engagement. Not bad, eh?
Whether we’re a green life expert or garden novice, the study’s takeaway can benefit us all. Perhaps it’s time we turned over a new leaf in our home décor. An extra inside plant may brighten more than our homes – it may brighten our whole outlook on life, too.