We're not sure how the sentiment started, but it seems like people have been giving flowers to one another to cheer them up since dinosaurs and cavemen have roamed the earth. It's everyone's go-to gift whenever your best pal needs a pick me up, to say congratulations for a job well done, but it happens most often to cheer people up who are sick or just had surgery. In fact, if you walked into a hospital, it would be surprising not to see beautiful bouquets behind every door. It turns out that these gorgeous flowers do so much more than just sit and look pretty.
The American Society for Horticulture Science recently published a study they have been working on, taking a deeper look at the therapeutic impact that plants actually have on people recovering from surgery. The results are incredibly telling.
The researchers involved in the study looked at ninety different patients who were recovering from appendectomies. To effectively conduct their study, they split these patients up at random and put half into rooms with plants and half without. They then measured their physical and psychological responses during recovery.
The patients who had plants in their rooms were found to have “significantly fewer intakes of postoperative analgesics, more positive physiological responses evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms when compared with patients in the control group.”
We think we can all agree with these findings, as there is just something special about walking into a room whenever there are plants and flowers present. It's almost like you can't not be happy to see them. So one can imagine how that effect would be on someone recovering from a major surgery.
Since the power of plants is pretty magical, this actually isn't the first study of this kind. A study was done in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, lasting eleven years. They found that leisure activities such as gardening have been shown to have the same benefits as hitting the gym. Who knew? Pretty exciting findings! It also revealed that as little as one hour a week of “leisure-time physical activity,” such as spending time with your plants, can be just as healthy for you as a workout - without having to leave your home!
It's important to note that indoor plants don't have quite the same impact on our overall health, stress and anxiety issues as outdoor plants. But, they do help improve air quality - so there's that!