Psychological and physiological effects of viewing a money plant by older adults

Brain Behav. 2019 Aug;9(8):e01359. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1359. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


Background: Observing plants can induce neurophysiological responses that can alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. However, few studies have examined such effects in older adults.

Methods: The physiological and psychological effects of observing nature (visual observation of a money plant) on 50 older Chinese women (age range: 58-90 years, SD: 8.5 years) were investigated. The participants observed a healthy money plant in a planter for 5 min; the lack of presence of a plant was used as a control. Physiological measurements were assessed using electroencephalography, and the STAI was used as a psychological assessment.

Results: After a 5-min observation of a money plant as compared with the control condition, systolic blood pressure significantly decreased, variations in both high alpha and high beta brainwaves were found, and psychological measurements revealed lower anxiety scores.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that viewing a money plant for 5 min may enhance both psychological and physiological relaxation in older adults.

Keywords: blood pressure; greenery; high beta; money plant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plants*
  • Relaxation / physiology*
  • Relaxation / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology