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The Effect of Indoor Foliage Plants on Health and Discomfort Symptoms among Office Workers

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Abstract

Indoor plantings are widely used in building environments though little is known regarding the way office workers respond to indoor foliage plants. The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of foliage plants in the office on health and symptoms of discomfort among office personnel. A cross-over study with randomised period order was conducted; one period with plants in the office and one period without. A questionnaire consisting of 12 questions related to neuropsychological symptoms, mucous membrane symptoms and skin symptoms was distributed among the 51 healthy subjects who participated in the study. It was found that the score sum of symptoms was 23% lower during the period when subjects had plants in their offices compared to the control period. (Mean score sum was 7.1 during the period without plants vs. 5.6 during the period with plants.) Complaints regarding cough and fatigue were reduced by 37 and 30%, respectively, if the offices contained plants. The self-reported level of dry/hoarse throat and dry/itching facial skin each decreased approximately 23% when plants were present. Overall, a significant reduction was obtained in neuropsychological symptoms and mucous membrane symptoms, while skin symptoms seemed to be unaffected by the presence of plants. The results from this study suggest that an improvement in health and a reduction in symptoms of discomfort may be obtained after introduction of foliage plants into the office environment.
... Apart from acoustic benefits, indoor application of green walls also offers other values, including esthetic value for interior design, better air quality, restorative neuropsychological effects, improved cognitive performance, fewer discomfort symptoms, fewer coughing, and fatigue complaints, etc. [75][76][77] Audio-visual applications While many physical measures are proven effective for noise control 78 , there are studies concerning the acoustic benefits of human noise perception. For indoor noise pollution, responses to surveys done by Mediastika and Binarti 79 indicated a perception of lower noise in the presence of greenery even when the sound pressure levels do not show a significant difference. ...
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Green wall technology, including green façades and living walls, presents a promising solution to encounter the negative impacts of noise pollution. Research and development of green walls are steadily progressing in multiple fields, including but not limited to the environmental, social, and economic areas. Compared to other themes, the number of acoustic studies of green walls is relatively low and lacks relevant review papers. The purpose of this paper is to give a systematic review of the application of green walls in the acoustic field and clarify the key factors that influence the acoustic performance of green walls and the main obstacles that obstruct the broader application of green walls. A total number of 34 papers published in the past ten years are reviewed. This study identifies that the acoustic applications of green walls are mainly in four aspects, namely laboratory applications, outdoor applications, indoor applications, and audio-visual applications. Vegetation morphology and properties of substrates are the two crucial factors determining green facades and living walls’ acoustic properties, respectively. High installation, operation, and maintenance costs and plant-induced problems are recognized as the main obstructions. A few possible topics are recommended for future study as well.
... The role of indoor air quality (IAQ) has been increasing in our life over time as we spend 80% of our time for daily activities in indoor areas like offices, homes, recreation rooms, etc. [1]. Therefore, the IAQ has a great impact on our health, even more important than outdoor air quality [2][3][4]. In case of low IAQ, health concerns related to chemical sensitivity and sick building syndrome can be observed. ...
Conference Paper
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Plant-based vegetation systems are economically feasible and energy-efficient applications to reduce particle matters and volatile organic compounds in indoor environments. The impact of these systems depends on their location and operating conditions. This study focuses on the impact of a real plant-based green wall system, which consists of 128 plants, on a real L-shaped office environment with a total area of 162 m 2. The steady-state numerical model is constituted for the whole office area and the trends of air velocity and the air exchange per hour are investigated in the office. The results are compared to the same office environment without green wall scenario, and it is seen that the air exchange per hour is improved by more than 40% for the whole office environment at 1 meter level above the office ground. The outputs of the steady-state model are also found useful for further simulation cases including a transient investigation Keywords: green wall, vegetation systems, indoor greenery, indoor environment, air quality, computational fluid dynamics.
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Indoor greenery is an energy-efficient and sustainable solution for living spaces thanks to its positive impacts on indoor air and environmental quality. This study presents experimental research to see the impact of a living green wall based on vegetation systems on the removal of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs). The living space is a real office environment with a number of 15 people while the outdoor environment is a tropical climate. The study collects continuous and long-term TVOC data using Demand Based Biological Air Purification System (DBBAPS) supported by cloud-based data storage. Sensors are located in various parts of the office and the results show that the present green wall can remove TVOCs up to 95% over a five-week period.
... As well known, many people face significant stress in the workplace, which often deteriorates their performance and health. It has been reported that indoor plants reduce the discomfort symptoms of workers in offices (Fjeld et al., 1998;Wood et al., 2002;Bringslimark et al., 2007;Toyoda et al., 2020). The newly developed mini-PFAL products for office use are expected to relieve the stress of workers, allow them to relax moderately, and increase their vitality and productivity ( Fig. 15.5). ...
Chapter
Mini-plant factories with artificial lighting (mini-PFALs) have been creating many new, revolutionary opportunities for entrepreneurs in the private as well as public sectors to improve the quality of life in urban areas for a wide range of human life, encompassing various fields of life, such as foods, amusements, health, and environments. This chapter introduces the main applications and business models of mini-PFALs in Asia and Europe. In both regions alike, mini-PFALs are designed in various styles and added with a variety of different functions for use in restaurants, homes, supermarkets, public spaces, and urban communities. It is also demonstrated that the cost performance of commercial mini-PFAL business models is high enough to attract entrepreneurs, though it is quite sensitive to the price of outputs mini-PFALs produce, the acquisition cost of the mini-PFAL system, and the wage rate.
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... According to Ulrich (1984), patients who can see a natural view from hospital rooms recover faster than those who look at the white wall [29]. A study by Fjeld (1998) in Norway found that employees working in an office decorated with beautiful plants reduced fatigue, headache and concentration problems by 23 % [30]. These studies prove that vegetation is an indispensable element for human comfort [10]. ...
... According to Ulrich (1984), patients who can see a natural view from hospital rooms recover faster than those who look at the white wall [29]. A study by Fjeld (1998) in Norway found that employees working in an office decorated with beautiful plants reduced fatigue, headache and concentration problems by 23 % [30]. These studies prove that vegetation is an indispensable element for human comfort [10]. ...
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