Hospitals
Research has shown that patients recover faster and need less medication when they are surrounded by green plants or have good views of green open spaces.

Green view

Green plants in their rooms also help to lower stress levels around surgery significantly and help with healing.

Adding plants to an x-ray department not only reduced the smell of chemicals but also had other positive effects for staff:

• tiredness vanished
• headaches dropped by 45%
• 30% fewer complaints of hoarseness, dry throats and tiredness

Within a year absenteeism had dropped by more than 60% and remained at this level for at least five years.

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Schools
In planted classrooms and lecture rooms, students are less likely to be distracted which means their inattentiveness is reduced by as much as 70% and attendance after breaks remains at almost 100%. This compared to a drop-out level of nearly 14% of students returning to unplanted classrooms after breaks.

Plants in school

In schools plants also help to reduce complaints of headaches, sore throats and cold symptoms. Students were less tired and sickness leave was reduced by 33%. Concentration also improved by 23%.

School studies in Australia

A study carried out in Australia by Margaret Burchett and her colleagues in 2010 found that plants had a positive effect on children’s improvement in core subjects such as spelling, maths and reading.

Three schools in the Brisbane area took part in the trials amounting to 360 children. Each classroom was given three plants and tests took place before the plants arrived and about six weeks after they were installed. Spelling and maths tests were common to all schools but one school also conducted tests in reading and one in science as well.

Two of the schools showed improvements in these studies of between 10 and 14% in the classrooms with plants. One school showed no difference between planted and non-planted rooms. The conclusion for this was thought to be because the school already had a gardening programme in place so that the children were regularly interacting and connecting with nature.

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 Recent research (2015) suggests that the whole biophilia concept helps children's mental cognitive development as well as their memory and attention spans.

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