What are the health benefits of indoor plants?

ECU student Danica-Lee Larcombe is undertaking an interesting study to see the effects that plant life has on our well being.

So far we know that they remove volatile compounds from the air, exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen or vice versa, provide stress relief and are aesthetically pleasing.

To prove the positive link, Danica-Lea is conducting a year long study and is seeking 99 participants to help her. 33 of these will be people without plants, 33 with plastic plants and 33 with the real deal.

Danica-Lea's research is looking at whether there is an exchange of microbes between plants and humans.

The relationship between plant microbes and human skin microbiota is an exciting new field that has much potential for enhancing the human immune system. NASA is also investigating the skin microbiota on astronauts that live on the International Space Station, and one of their researchers reviewed and recommended Danica-Lea's PhD proposal.

Results from this research may benefit apartment dwellers by having more natural environments through new town planning and environmental strategies, which may lead to better health outcomes. They will also benefit from the education this research will provide about the importance of a healthy microbial presence to prevent inflammation and chronic disease.

To partake in this novel study please email d.larcombe@ecu.edu.au To be eligible participants must not currently have plants indoors (but may have plants on their balcony), and be residing above the third floor. We are looking forward to seeing the results in 12 months!

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