Americans are stressed.  Whether it's dealing with debt, juggling family responsibilities or working for a boss from hell, some days you just want to scream at the wall.

According to a study by researchers at the University of Hyogo in Awaji, Japan, they found that workers who simply put a small plant on their desk improved their well being and reduced stress levels.

The study was carried out in two phases:

  1. First, a one week control period, during which the workers were just told to go about their business as usual to establish their stress baselines.
  2. Second, four weeks in which the workers were given small desk plants, and told to take 3-minute breaks at their desks, in view of the plants, when they felt stress.

Well, it worked.  The researchers wrote:

The stress scores decreased significantly from pre- to post-intervention. The results did not differ significantly when we looked at the data within the age groups nor the different plant groups.

These results suggest that placing small plants chosen by the participants within close sight of them contributed to their psychological stress reduction regardless of their age or plants choice.

So if you are stressed at work, toss that stress ball and get a plant!

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