New Harvard Study Investigates The Home Ecology of Flowers

Behavioral Research Concludes That Living With Flowers Strengthens Feelings

of Compassion, Decreases Anxiety and Worry

Oct 27, 2006, 01:00 ET from Society of American Florists

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- With people's desire for
 tranquility and stress relief stronger than ever, fresh research takes an
 insightful look at flowers and the important role they may play in our
 daily lives. A behavioral research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D.,
 of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, reveals that
 people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety,
 and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home.
     "Other research has proven that flowers make people happy when they
 receive them," said Etcoff. "What we didn't know is that spending a few
 days with flowers in the home can affect a wide variety of feelings."
     The Home Ecology of Flowers study at Harvard uncovered three main
     1.  Flowers feed compassion.
         Study participants who lived with fresh cut flowers for less than a
         week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for
     2.  Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues at home.
         Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being
         around flowers at home for just a few days.  Participants most
         frequently placed the flowers in their kitchens, dining rooms and
         living rooms, where they spent a lot of time at home.  They reported
         wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning.
     3.  Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and
         enthusiasm at work.
         Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our
         mood at work, too.  The study found that people were more likely to
         feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers
         were in their home living environments.
     "As a psychologist, I'm particularly intrigued to find that people who
 live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,"
 said Etcoff. "Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on
 our well-being."
     For more information on the study and using flowers in the home, visit and

SOURCE Society of American Florists