While apartment living has become a necessity for many, there’s a chance it’s having a negative effect on our wellbeing.
According to an article published on The Conversation, moving away from nature into urban environments has been linked with a rapid increase in chronic disease.
"In the past children grew up running on bare soil and grass, explored backyard farms and gardens, climbed trees and were exposed to a high level of bacteria," writes Danica-Lea Larcombe, PhD Candidate in Biodiversity and Human Health, Edith Cowan University."
"The microbiota is the community of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our gut and on our skin. We need a diverse exposure for our body to fight inflammation effectively."
That’s where plants come in.
"The bacteria we have are similar to those of plants in that we both carry trillions of good and bad bacteria," Danica-Lea explains. "The diversity of the microbiota is measured by how many families of bacteria are present.
“We know the diverse plant microbiome influences plant growth, and humans benefit by eating plant foods.
"An important research question remains: do we gain another benefit simply by having contact with plants?"
There are a number of benefits to having plants around your apartment.
First of all, they remove carbon dioxide and other chemicals from the air and release oxygen.
As Danica-Lea points out, "Higher oxygen levels inside a small apartment mean well-being may be improved for the occupants."
Additionally, Dr Fraser Torpy, director of the University of Technology Sydney Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Research Group told the ABC: "A medium-sized plant (anything above about 20cm) in a room will make really big reductions in chemicals."
Three plants for your apartment
Danica-Lea says, "Peace Lily will reduce many toxins such as benzene, ammonia, acetone and ethyl and will prevent toxins from spreading between rooms in the apartment."
Aloe vera and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
"If placed in the laundry these plants remove formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which are in common household detergents."