Plants effective in fighting fatigue

March 25, 2009
Written by The Flower Council of Holland

plantsinofficeNew research findings from TNO Quality of Life provide more insight into the positive effects of having plants in the workplace.

The fact that everyone who sits at a computer longer than four hours works more productively and clearly more enjoyably with plants nearby has been known for some time.

'Even one large plant for every two employees or one large plant for every 12 m² provides a beneficial effect!’ says John Klein Hesselink, senior researcher at TNO.

Less fatigued and less stressed

Having plants in the workplace is especially beneficial for fatigued employees and those with health problems. The positive effects of plants on the health and well-being of employees are due mainly to the recuperative potential that plants provide. Plants in a work environment reintroduce the feeling of the natural environment in which human beings evolved, which is why people feel most at home in green surroundings. Because plants have a positive effect on psychological well-being, people recover more quickly from tiredness and stress.


In the study, full-time employees, in particular, noted a reduction in their flu-like symptoms and felt more able to work with the plants installed, showing that the period of time in which people have plants within their range of vision is an important factor. It was also found that employees are more productive when they can see green plants whenever they look up.


Based on this research, TNO recommends providing one large plant for every two employees or one large plant for every 12 m² of office space. It’s also important to distribute the plants evenly throughout the entire organisation so that all employees can benefit from them as doing so decreases health problems and complaints of tiredness, particularly among employees who are fatigued and suffering from stress.

This study was commissioned by the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture and conducted by TNO in collaboration with the Interior Planting Section of the VGH (Association of Horticulturalists and Plant Care Specialists).

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