In the study, participants were given two different tasks: repotting a houseplant or completing a short computer-based task. After each task, researchers measured the biological factors associated with stress, including heart rate and blood pressure.
They found that the indoor gardening task lowered the stress response in participants. The computer task, on the other hand, caused a spike in heart rate and blood pressure, even though the study participants were young men well-accustomed to computerized work.
Researchers concluded that working with plants could reduce both physiological and psychological stress.