Many of us don’t have labor-intensive jobs, as in the kind of physical work leaving you tired and sore at the end of the day. Our version of heavy lifting gets done mentally, whether we are crunching numbers, crafting communication, or even shooting YouTube videos.
But we’re still dependent on a productive and safe environment where we can breathe deeply and let oxygen fuel our brains. Did you know your brain consumes 20 percent of all the oxygen that enters your bloodstream through breathing, but it only makes up two percent of your total body mass? This means your brain uses ten times more oxygen than the rest of your body.
Oxygen provides 90 percent of our energy. Only 10 percent comes from food and water. Your brain can’t store oxygen the way your body can store other energy sources like water or food in the form of fat. So you need a constant fresh supply of oxygen to your body, or within minutes your brain will start to die off.
When your brain is not getting enough oxygen or nutrients to function, something called cerebral hypoxia takes place. The symptoms of a mild case of cerebral hypoxia include:
- Inattention or inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Becoming clumsy
Think about it: have you ever felt this way in the middle of the afternoon at work? Do co-workers start getting on your nerves? Maybe you blew it off as not getting enough sleep, or needed another cup of coffee to make it to quitting time. The truth is you might not be taking in enough oxygen.
All of us need to do something to counteract the loss of oxygen in our everyday environment. For many of us, it needs to start in the workplace. If you’re in a typical office environment, you’re breathing recirculated air all day. Even in San Diego where we could work with open windows most of the year, many offices don’t accommodate this.
Some companies are jumping on this issue, and will sell you a personal air purifier you can wear around your neck, or a personal ionic air purified you can sit on your desk in the office. Where there’s a need, an entrepreneur will swoop in to fill it.
Good Earth Plant Company prefers a nature-based approach. The easiest, most cost-efficient way to increase the amount of oxygen in your workspace is through indoor plants. Introducing plants immediately decreases carbon dioxide because plants consume carbon dioxide as their main source of fuel during photosynthesis, and replace it with fresh oxygen. Just one square yard of leaf surface can remove an average six cubic feet of carbon dioxide in a year. This is a tremendous amount. If interior plants get lots of natural light they can be even more efficient.
When you breathe air that is 30 to 40 percent oxygen, you will immediately notice benefits including:
- Increased ability to concentrate
- Faster thinking
- Sharper eyesight
- Better mental retention and memory
- Calmer mind
- Better able to deal with stress
- Reduced muscle stiffness and faster recovery from physical exertion
- Resistance to illness
- Better quality and more stable sleeping patterns
If you could achieve even a few of these benefits, wouldn’t you be a better, smarter employee? Perhaps be in line for a promotion that comes with a raise? While we can’t promise plants will help you earn more money, we wouldn’t blame you if you hurried out and got a new office plant for your desk right now.
Hundreds of years ago, 30 to 40 percent of the air in the U.S. was made of oxygen. Today due mainly to pollution, oxygen levels are just half that in many American cities.
Good Earth Plant Company can help improve the air quality in your workplace and provide many other environmental benefits that increase workplace satisfaction and happiness by designing a plan to add plants at your office and provide indoor plant maintenance service so they are always looking their best. We would love to come check your workplace out and give you some ideas that can make all of you breathe easier. You might even be able to avoid making an extra pot of coffee in the afternoon.
As the use of technology grows and natural sources of oxygen like trees decline, the percentage of carbon dioxide we breathe is increasing. Remember – you are what you breathe! It’s now more important than ever to do what we can to make sure we breathe in enough oxygen to stay healthy and sharp – and keep the boss happy!