Increase Productivity/Performance

Courthouse Design Case Study (07-17-15)

On its website (address below) the Center for Active Design shares a case study focused on the active design components of the Superior Court of California, San Benito County in Hollister, CA.  The first paragraph of the case study provides an effective overview of the project: “The Superior Court of California, San Benito County is a new civic building in Hollister, California that provides the community with three courtrooms and a public plaza.

Peripheral Vision During Focused Activity (07-16-15)

New research confirms the importance of carefully managing peripheral vision.  Chen and his colleagues found that even when our eyes are focused on a visually intense task, such as threading a needle, they continue to take micro-second long breaks from that task to monitor activity in peripheral vision.  This finding is likely to have the most significant effect on the design of workplaces as it indicates how important it is that people doing knowledge work are well shielded visually from other people or situations that might be distracting.

Air Pollution and Brain Aging (07-08-15)

Air pollution has been tied to cognitive aging.  This link should influence where homes are located and how their HVAC systems are designed, for example.  Findings of a study to be published in the Annals of Neurology indicate that air pollution “may also have a negative impact on how the brain’s white matter ages. The research indicates that older women [71-89 years old] who lived in geographic locations with higher levels of fine particulate matter in ambient air had significantly smaller white matter volumes across a wide range of brain areas.

Adding Bright Light (06-12-15)

Newly published research indicates it’s a good idea to make sure that people leaving a space at night or in the early morning are exposed to bright light (5600 lux).  This can be accomplished by cycling lights so that they are bright at the end of a work period or brightly lighting areas people will frequent before leaving, such as locker rooms.  Researchers have determined that “bright light at the end of a night shift may have potential as a countermeasure to improve driving performance, particularly for . . . commutes that occur before dawn.”

Culture and Territoriality (06-05-15)

Our national culture influences performance advantages that result being on our home turf.  Gelade reports that “ home advantage (HA) . . . is the tendency for teams to perform better when playing on their home ground than when playing away. . . . HA tends to be elevated in countries with high levels of collectivism and in-group favoritism.”

Garry Gelade.  2015.  “National Culture and Home Advantage in Football.”  Cross-Cultural Research, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 281-296.

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