Is your house contributing to bad health? According to researchers, the air quality we breathe indoors contains up to 10 times higher concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC) than outdoors.
Volatile Organic Compounds have been attributed to poor health outcomes including restless sleep, poor productivity, depression, bad moods and increased allergies.
A new RMIT and The University of Melbourne study has found that adding one medium-sized plant (of up to 50cm) to a medium-sized room (of about 4x5ms) the interior air quality can increase by up to 25 percent.
Five plants can improve air quality by 75% and wellbeing by 60%, and by adding ten plants you can reach maximum health and wellness.
“Our aim was to take the world of research and synthesise the knowledge into a scale of benefits provided by plants by grouping them into two categories: air quality and wellbeing,” said lead researcher, Dominique Hes, Director of the Thrive Research Hub at the University of Melbourne and part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub.
“We gathered over 100 global studies and collated them to a major research piece and worked out how many plants we need in indoor environments to improve our plant life balance.
“We found that indoor plants improve air quality by filtering out particulate matter, or air pollution and other airborne toxins caused by organic chemicals in things like paints and furniture finishes.
“Plants, both indoors and out, can benefit our wellbeing too as they have the ability to both relax and energise us. Being relaxed, your mood improves, you can concentrate longer and you are more productive.”
The Plant Life Balance App:
The research has also been used to create an Australian first virtual greening app. The Plant Life Balance app, asks Aussies to rate their space, then improve their health score by choosing a look for their room or outdoor area, grabbing a plant list and hitting the nursery.
Alex Marshall, Head of Creative & Strategy from digital creative agency, Circul8, said, “If the results aren’t so good, people can use the app to drag and drop plants over a photo of their space to see how a number of plants can improve their health, wellness & air quality.
“Apps using augmented reality can help visualise your space and take a large part of the uncertainty out of the equation.
“It’s a simple way to improve your plant life balance,” said Alex.
Seven Looks to Optimise Wellbeing
So now you’re looking to add more plants, but which ones will improve your plant life balance and what types will suit your home?
Plant Life Balance also partnered with Georgina Reid from The Planthunter to create seven looks to inspire and motivate increased greening in small spaces.
We want to inspire everyone to improve their plant life balance, says plant lover, Georgina: “From tough-as-nails pot plants to spice up your share house to a formal, manicured garden for a family home, the looks will transform your space into a drool-worthy green oasis.”
Plant Life Balance is designed to get Australians excited and confident about styling their homes with plants and promoting the health and wellbeing benefits they bring.