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Virginia I. Lohr and Caroline H. Pearson-Mims

A well-known research report showed that being in a hospital room with a view of trees rather than a view of a building was linked to the use of fewer pain-reducing medications by patients recovering from surgery. The experiment reported here was designed to further examine the role of plants in pain perception. We found that more subjects were willing to keep a hand submerged in ice water for 5 min if they were in a room with plants present than if they were in a room without plants. This was found to be true even when the room without plants had other colorful objects that might help the subject focus on something other than the discomfort. Results from a room assessment survey confirmed that the room with colorful, nonplant objects was as interesting and colorful as the room with plants present, but the presence of plants was perceived as making the air in the room fresher.

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Caroline H. Pearson-Mims and Virginia I. Lohr

Interiorscaping has been prevalent in office environments in the United States since the 1960s. Historically, proponents of interior plantings have cited numerous benefits, including improved employee morale, increased productivity, and reduced absenteeism when plants are added to the workplace, despite little scientific research to support these claims. Contemporary research is beginning to document some of these purported benefits of interior plantings on human comfort, well-being, and productivity. If researchers continue to provide concrete evidence that interaction with plants is directly linked to improved human health and well-being, this information will provide further justification for the use of interior plants in a variety of indoor work settings. With an ever-increasing emphasis by business managers on minimizing costs, it is important for industry professionals to provide quantifiable justification for the inclusion of plants in modern work environments.

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Tina Bringslimark, Terry Hartig, and Grete Grindal Patil

room assessments ( Adachi et al., 2000 ; Chang and Chen, 2005 ; Coleman and Mattson, 1995 ; Kim and Mattson, 2002 ; Larsen et al., 1998 ; Liu et al., 2003 ; Lohr et al., 1996 ; Shibata and Suzuki, 2001 , 2002 , 2004 ). In addition, some studies