OK – we know you might think this is just a publicity stunt by florists to sell more flowers. However, three different research programmes – including one by the world renowned Harvard Institute – have proved conclusively it’s true. Oh yes and the chaps at NASA were hot on the case on how good plants are for you way back in the ‘80’s. In short flowers and plants can seriously improve your well-being – the non-edible five a day we like to think!
But why? We know they look pretty but scientifically proven to boost energy levels and improve moods??? Money savers and generators … come on … how does that work? We start with Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D, the lead researcher on the Harvard experiment, who explained to About Flowers (our USA equivalent) her findings.
“The morning blahs is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – like happiness, friendliness and warmth – manifesting much later in the day. Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up and reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning.
Dr. Etcoff was referencing the fact that participants in the study responded to the flowers, which had been placed in rooms they frequented in the morning. Overall they reported they liked to look at the flowers first thing in the morning, particularly in the kitchen and even reported a boost of energy that lasted through their day.
“What I find interesting is that by starting the day in a more positive mood, you are likely to transfer those happier feelings to others – it’s what is called mood contagion,” said Etcoff. “And, the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning – imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make.”
Making more money in the workplace is just one big difference as Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., a Behavioural Scientist at Texas A&M University, proved when he ran a study on the impact flowers and plants have on workers.
His eight-month study saw participants carry out creative problem solving projects in a variety of office environments; one with flowers and plants, one with sculptures and one with nothing. The results were amazing. In the flower and plant filled office workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem-solving skills improved substantially. Men generating 15% more ideas and women coming up with more creative flexible solutions to problems. A staggering uplift and in terms of return on investment (flowers and plants last for ages and don’t need to cost a fortune) as Dr Ulrich says, they can be a major plus for business.
“We know how natural surroundings affect drivers, school children, and hospital patients. In the corporate world it should be equally important to understand what can improve performance and make employees more productive. Our research shows that something as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important to businesses in the modern economy. If people’s productivity improve, it could, in certain circumstances mean the difference between mild and great business success.”
If we were you we’d get down to your nearest Good Florist today and start pumping those endorphins ASAP!