Students can leaf their stress behind

by Kathryn Sequeira


Students at in the Lower Learning Commons studying, surrounded by plants at Red River College Exchange District Campus on April 12, 2018./KATHRYN SEQUEIRA


Plants cover the Exchange District Campus Red River College, but students either haven’t noticed or don’t question it. These green friends can be nice to look at, but studies that show that they can actually benefit students in a school setting.


“I can’t say I’ve ever stopped to actually think about them,” said Ashlyn Erickson, RRC Digital Media Design student. “You don’t realize if it makes you feel better, but it does.”


Student’s memory can increase by 20 per cent by being in the presence of plants and improves students’ performance in basic tests.  Students from Grade 6 and 7 improved substantially when three plants were introduced to their classrooms, said a study from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2010.


“I think it provides a livelier experience here,” said Brenna Tucker, a Business Administration student at RRC.


Productivity jumps 15 per cent when just a handful of houseplants are added to a workspace according to 2014 study by the University of Exeter.


Almost 90 per cent of Canadian college and university students said they felt overwhelmed by their workload, and more than 50 per cent said they felt hopeless and 63 per cent said they felt lonely in a survey from the Canadian Organization of University and College Health from January to April of 2015.


Plants can’t cure stress and anxiety, but they can help. Plants can reduce a significant amout of stress in the workplace according to the 2010 University of Technology study. The results of the survey said there was a 37 per cent fall in reported tension and anxiety and a 50 per cent drop in depression or dejection. There was also a 38 per cent drop in fatigue.

Big tropical and non-tropical plants line the windows of the Lower Learning Commons at Red River College Exchange Campus on April 16, 2018./KATHRYN SEQUEIRA


The plants over campus are doing more than letting oxygen back into our space. They offer comfort and beauty. Colours can offer different psychological reactions.


“Those who have a green work environment experience fewer stomach aches,” said an article called The Color Psychology of Green by Kendra Cherry. It also said green can reduce stress and help with the physical and mental healing process.


The RRC Greenspace Horticulture program is giving an opportunity to students to extend this green space in their own homes. They’re selling trees, tropical, succulent gardens, terrariums and more. The RRC Greenspace Horticulture Plant Sale and BBQ is on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Notre Dame Campus.