Archive for November 18th, 2009

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

We know that nature has a stress relieving effect. Read more about the effects of nature on stress in our post, “A Cure For Burnout and Stress–As Simple as a Walk In The Woods!” here. But working indoors and living in cold climates like Chicago often means a lack of contact with nature. How can we help reduce our stress, interact more with nature and still work to pay our bills?

Add indoor plants to the workplace and home!

Not only can it help with stress relief, but indoor plants have been shown to improve indoor air quality too. Read more about the study of indoor plants and air quality from United Press International via EcoWorld in the   article that follows.

Top Indoor Air Cleaner Plants

ATHENS, Ga., Nov. 5, 2009 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they have come up with five ornamental plants that do a superior job of removing indoor air pollutants.

The study of 28 types of plants, published in HortScience, found Hemigraphis alternata known as purple waffle plant; Hedera helix or English ivy; Hoya carnosa or variegated wax plant; and Asparagus densiflorus or Asparagus fern had the highest removal rates for all five volatile organic compounds introduced.

Tradescantia pallida or Purple heart plant was rated superior for its ability to remove four of the volatile organic compounds.

Study leader Stanley J. Kays of the University of Georgia in Athens placed plants in gas-tight glass jars, exposing them to benzene, octane, toluene and alpha-pinene. The researchers analyzed air samples and then classified plants as superior, intermediate and poor in their ability to remove the five volatile organic compounds from the air.

“The volatile organic compounds tested in this study can adversely affect indoor air quality

and have a potential to seriously compromise the health of exposed individuals,” Kays said in a statement.

Kays said benzene and toluene are known to originate from petroleum-based indoor coatings, cleaning solutions, plastics, environmental tobacco smoke and exterior exhaust fumes seeping into buildings; octane from paint, adhesives and building materials; TCE from tap water, cleaning agents, insecticides and plastic products; and alpha-pinene from synthetic paints and odorants.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Find original article in EcoWorld here.

Caring for your Indoor Plants

• Purple waffle plant-care instructions here.


Purple Waffle Plant from joeysplanting's photostream on Flickr

• English ivy-most effective plant for removing formaldehyde,  the most common indoor air pollutant, from your indoor atmosphere. English Ivy care instructions here.


English Ivy. Image from Loghome.com

• Variegated wax plant-care instructions here.

Hoya carnosa-varigeated-809

Hoya-varigeated wax plant. Image from plant-care.com

• Asparagus fern-care instructions here.


Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus. Image from Pandorea's photostream on Flickr.

• Purple heart plant-care instructions here.


Purple Heart or Purple Heart Wandering Jew. Image from University of Wisconsin Horticulture

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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles

If you’re looking for the lowdown on where you can stretch your legs and escape the urban grid, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago will help you find your way.

Focusing on urban and rural areas and everything in between, the book features classic hikes at places such as Starved Rock State Park, as well as undiscovered gems like the LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area in northwestern Indiana.

The author, Ted Villaire, also writes a blog, Prairie Fever here, with great insights into hiking, biking camping and kayaking in the Chicago area.


Ted Villaire

Who is Ted Villaire?

Ted Villaire received a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received his master’s of arts in writing from DePaul University in Chicago. He is author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Chicago, published in 2005 by Menasha Ridge Press, and is currently working on four more regional outdoor guidebooks that focus on bicycling and camping within the Chicago region and throughout Illinois. A Chicago resident for the past 10 years, Ted has worked for various daily and weekly newspapers, and has had freelance articles appear in The Chicago Tribune and the Des Moines Register. Recently, Ted worked for seven years as a publications editor for a large non-profit organization headquartered in Chicago.

Note: Working Well Resources is not affiliated with Ted Villaire in any manner. We just enjoy his blog and book and want to share them with you!

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