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Stephen B. Prentice and Tina M. Waliczek

that required only involuntary attention . Involuntary attention is that which requires no effort because that which draws attention does so innately. Again, to avoid confusion with James’s terminology, Kaplan (1995 ) substituted the term fascination

Open access

Masahiro Toyoda, Yuko Yokota, Marni Barnes, and Midori Kaneko

In modern society, stress reduction in the workplace is a pressing issue. Although many studies have been done on the psychological and physiological effects of indoor plants, the majority of them have been conducted in laboratory or quasi-office settings. The objective of this study was to verify the stress reduction effects of the presence of small indoor plants on employees in a real office setting. We investigated the changes in psychological and physiological stress before and after placing a plant on a worker’s desk. Sixty-three office workers at an electric company in Japan were the participants of this study. The participants were directed to take a 3-minute rest while sitting at their desk when they felt fatigue. There were two phases of the study: a control period without plants and an intervention period when the participants were able to see and care for a small plant. We measured psychological stress in the participants using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). As an index of physiological stress, the participants measured their own pulse rate throughout the study. STAI scores decreased significantly after the intervention period (P < 0.05). The ratio of the participants whose pulse rate lowered significantly after a 3-minute rest increased significantly during the intervention period (P < 0.05). Our study indicates that having opportunities to gaze intentionally at nearby plants on a daily basis in the work environment can reduce the psychological and physiological stress of office workers.

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Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson

distraction, which may provide ample involuntary attention, increase positive feelings, block or reduce worrisome thoughts, and promote restoration from stress ( Ulrich, 1992 ). Researchers who have assessed the impact of nature/plants on human health have

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Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson

may provide ample involuntary attention, increase positive feelings, block or reduce worrisome thoughts, and promote restoration from stress ( Ulrich, 1992 ). Researchers who have assessed the impact of nature/plants on human health have suggested that