Reconnecting with Nature: The Role of Plants in the Healthy Living Movement

Thanks to recent advancements in science, technology and engineering, people today enjoy countless conveniences that make our lives simpler and more enjoyable than ever before. The downside? Human habits have changed dramatically in recent decades, and that shift has taken a noticeable toll on our health.

In a 2016 study, experts from the Mayo Clinic examined what it meant to live a “healthy lifestyle” and whether or not Americans were meeting what they determined were the four basic qualifications of healthy living: regular exercise, a healthy diet, being a non-smoker and having an ideal body fat percentage.

According to the study’s results, only 2.7 percent of American adults met all four criteria, which is surprising when you consider that the United States spends more on healthcare than any other nation. So, what are we doing wrong?

Much of our country’s health crisis has to do with the four qualifications outlined by the Mayo Clinic, and they are all within our ability to change. Adopting a healthier lifestyle may be the key to improving national health and preventing many of the top conditions affecting Americans today.

Enter the healthy living movement.

Living a healthier lifestyle is all about making daily choices that benefit our physical and emotional well-being. Along with eating the right foods, staying active, practicing healthy habits and watching our waistlines, managing stress has also become a key component of supporting optimal health and wellness.

Stress impacts the body on a chemical level and can affect everything from mood and behavior to metabolism, sleep patterns and energy levels, so it’s not hard to see why experts caution against the consequences of prolonged stress.

Inviting nature back into our lives is a great way to relieve stress.

You’ve probably noticed that people spend a lot of time “plugged in” to electronic devices and very little time outdoors these days. One expert even coined the term, “nature-deficit disorder,” to describe how modern humans have become disconnected from the natural world, maintaining it could have lasting implications for our physical, psychological and cognitive well-being.

We mentioned in a previous blog how reconnecting with nature is important for our health and spiritual well-being. Psychologically speaking, one of the biggest reasons for this is that plants produce a calming effect in humans. Simply being in close proximity to greenery has been shown to reduce stress levels and contribute to a positive mood and feelings of well-being.

Eight in ten Americans feel occasional or frequent stress during their day.

That statistic is from a Gallup poll taken just last year and spotlights the growing need to find ways to manage and reduce daily stress.

In a recent study, interactions with indoor plants reduced physiological and psychological stress in young adults who spent the majority of their days working at a computer.

Researchers pointed out that plants have a positive effect on the sympathetic nervous system, which not only lowers blood pressure but contributes to feelings of comfort and calmness.

In another study, hospital patients exposed to plants in the room reported feeling less stress. Similar research has led to a growing number of hospitals and healthcare buildings using plants, outdoor gardens, living walls and other forms of natural vegetation to improve patient health outcomes.

Finally, an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health titled, “Biophilia: Does Visual Contact with Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being?” talks about the influence of indoor plants on our emotional well-being and discusses how they may “ameliorate some of the negative effects” of Americans’ widespread screen addiction.

Sagegreenlife is advancing the healthy living movement by bringing nature into the built environment.

From the beginning, Sagegreenlife set out to design spaces that are not only resource efficient but available for us to live within them in the most beautiful and healthy way possible. We recognize that people spend a significant portion of the day indoors and apart from the natural world, which is why we aim to bring the outdoors in.

Our living walls and living décor products combine science and aesthetics to create spaces that benefit human health and wellness: workplaces, residential buildings, retail stores, healthcare facilities and more can all be designed to bring people closer to the healing power of nature.

Call us today at 312.234.9655 or email to set up a consultation with one of our vertical garden professionals and find out how we can help your design clients seamlessly integrate nature into the built environment for a healthier, more sustainable future.

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