Dominican University of California
 

Presentation or Panel Title

Stress-Reducing Effects of Indoor Plants in a Classroom Setting

Location

Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-20-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-20-2017 4:00 PM

Department

Psychology

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor

Veronica Fruiht, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Natural views and access to plants appear to have significant beneficial effects on individuals (Relf, 1992). Growing bodies of work have shown that upon introducing indoor plants into medical environments, patients experienced reduced anxiety and increased healing rates (Beukeboom et al., 2012). Studies have also shown that natural views from a classroom window can have a positive effect on attention and stress recovery among students (Li & Sullivan, 2016).

This present study used an experimental design to measure the impact of indoor plants on students’ stress levels and mental fatigue. Forty-seven students recruited from a small liberal arts college in the San Francisco Bay Area were given a timed math test. The test environment for the experimental group included green, leafy, indoor plants, whereas the test environment for the control group was devoid of plants. The participants’ level of immediate post-test stress and mental fatigue was self-measured using 12 questions from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1983) and the Profile of Mood States (Grove & Prapavessis, 1993). A similar study (Beukeboom et al., 2012) explored the stress-reducing effects of plants in a hospital waiting room. In that study, patient stress levels were self-measured using five items from the shortened version of the Profile of Mood States and six items from the STAI-6. These measures demonstrate acceptable internal reliability.

While some studies have demonstrated benefits from green views from classrooms, few have measured the impact of indoor plants on students in settings with limited green views and access to nature. I hypothesize that the introduction of visible, healthy, green indoor plants may result in reduced levels of stress and mental fatigue, and improved test performance.

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Apr 20th, 3:00 PM Apr 20th, 4:00 PM

Stress-Reducing Effects of Indoor Plants in a Classroom Setting

Guzman Lecture Hall, Dominican University of California

Natural views and access to plants appear to have significant beneficial effects on individuals (Relf, 1992). Growing bodies of work have shown that upon introducing indoor plants into medical environments, patients experienced reduced anxiety and increased healing rates (Beukeboom et al., 2012). Studies have also shown that natural views from a classroom window can have a positive effect on attention and stress recovery among students (Li & Sullivan, 2016).

This present study used an experimental design to measure the impact of indoor plants on students’ stress levels and mental fatigue. Forty-seven students recruited from a small liberal arts college in the San Francisco Bay Area were given a timed math test. The test environment for the experimental group included green, leafy, indoor plants, whereas the test environment for the control group was devoid of plants. The participants’ level of immediate post-test stress and mental fatigue was self-measured using 12 questions from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1983) and the Profile of Mood States (Grove & Prapavessis, 1993). A similar study (Beukeboom et al., 2012) explored the stress-reducing effects of plants in a hospital waiting room. In that study, patient stress levels were self-measured using five items from the shortened version of the Profile of Mood States and six items from the STAI-6. These measures demonstrate acceptable internal reliability.

While some studies have demonstrated benefits from green views from classrooms, few have measured the impact of indoor plants on students in settings with limited green views and access to nature. I hypothesize that the introduction of visible, healthy, green indoor plants may result in reduced levels of stress and mental fatigue, and improved test performance.