ECU researcher investigates health impacts of concrete jungle

ECU researcher investigates health impacts of concrete jungle

AN ECU researcher wants to know if a lack of plants in the concrete jungle is bad for our health.

Danica-Lea Larcombe said the number of Australians living in high-rise apartments had doubled between 1991 and 2011 and the trend had continued.

“But how does the move from the Australian dream of a quarter acre to an apartment block affect our health,” she said.

“I’m trying to find out if growing indoor plants in high-rise apartments can off-set the decrease in contact with the natural world that could be associated with the change in lifestyle.”

She said the research project was about how the lack of plants in a person’s home might affect the bacteria on their skin and immune system

Ms Larcombe is looking for people living in apartments in Cockburn, as well as the City of Perth and City of Vincent.

Participants must live above the third floor with one or two occupants in an apartment with no plants.

As part of the study, they will receive real or fake plants to look after for 12 months and be required to complete a number of surveys and provide hair sample and skin swabs.

For more information, email d.larcombe@ecu.edu.au.