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The 2010 ASHS Annual Conference

Plants, Happiness, and Grades: Are They Connected?

Monday, August 2, 2010
Springs F & G
Amanda Plante, Graduate Student in Plant Sci., Plante Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Susan Wilson Hamilton, PhD, Director University of Tennessee Gardens, Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
The objective of this study was to determine if the interaction of university students with plant life and green space, from walking or riding to class to keeping houseplants to a view of nature from their dorm room, had an impact on their overall happiness and academic success.  This study is based on research which has shown that a view of nature decreases hospital recovery time and that interior plants in a work environment improve concentration and productivity.  In order to determine how time spent with plants affects student happiness and grades, an online survey was distributed to full-time, degree seeking, undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus.  Students were asked how much time they spent doing activities that involved plants and green space through a wide range of activities from walking or riding to class to keeping houseplants.  A portion of the survey targeted students which live in campus housing. These students were asked about the amount of green space that can be viewed from their windows and their satisfaction with the view.  Survey questions also included major, grade point average, and the amount of time spent studying. As an incentive for taking the survey, students were entered in a drawing to win a prize.  Significantly positive survey results will be shared with campus organizations which could help improve campus green space.