Sherwin and her team investigated the experience of being in primary care physicians’ waiting rooms (for more info on waiting room design see https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/heathcare-focus-waiting-room-d...). They learned: “The waiting room has come to represent a containment space of inevitable frustration for patients and physicians alike. But what if the waiting room were good for more than just waiting? . . .
Latham and Clarke investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and the recovery of older people from mobility related injuries. As might be expected, they learned “Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; 1996–2008) . . . .
Need more evidence that workplace windows enhance mental and physical well-being? If you do, you’ll be interested in a study spearheaded by Ivy Cheung, a neuroscience doctoral student at Northwestern University. Her team found that people “who had windows in the workplace slept an average of 47 more minutes per night compared to workers in offices without daylight exposure. They also . . . were more physically active, and reported better sleep quality and efficiency . . . .
Lin and team investigated the influence of interruptions on office worker stress levels. They learned that “Interruptions by others, or intrusions, are a common phenomenon in today’s workplaces. Intrusions can be disruptive for employees because they displace time required to complete job tasks (thereby increasing perceptions of workload).
Evidence continues to mount that positive distractions in healthcare environments are desirable (for additional related information see http://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/visual-art-healthcare-jury-stil...). Researchers at The Ohio State University have determined that “for some hospitalized ICU patients on mechanical ventilators, using headphones to listen to their favorite types of music could lower anxiety and reduce their need for sedative medications . . .
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found more reasons to flood interior spaces with sunlight and create outdoor spaces where people can absorb sunshine. (For additional information on daylighting, see, for example, https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/what-makes-home-office-good-wo....) The team in Edinburgh report that “Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure, cut the risk of heart attack and stroke – and even prolong life . . .
Research by ophthalmologists indicates that when children spend time outdoors at recess, they are less likely to be nearsighted. As the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports, “when children are required to spend recess time outdoors, their risk of nearsightedness is reduced.” Design that encourages outdoor recess is important because nearsightedness is “near[ing] epidemic status in Asia and other regions, primarily in developed countries. In the United States nearsightedness has increased by more than 65 percent since 1970.
New research provides further support for including gardens in urban plans. Researchers from Utah found that “People who participate in community gardening have a significantly lower body mass index—as well as lower odds of being overweight or obese—than do their non-gardening neighbors . . . . ‘It has been shown previously that community gardens can provide a variety of social and nutritional benefits to neighborhoods,’ says Cathleen Zick, lead author of the study and professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah.
Devlin and her research team begin by observing that “Multicultural sensitivity is important in clinical practice, yet we know little about how the physical environment projects this quality.” The researchers learned that “a therapist whose office included art and artifacts from a variety of cultures (e.g., through textiles, sculptures) was judged to be more open to multiculturalism than was the therapist whose office displayed objects from a tradition that could be categorized as more western.
Information collected by McGraw-Hill during its 2012 Green Schools Study indicates that there are significant benefits from greening schools. Researchers, who “looked at green in both new construction/major renovations and retrofits/operational improvements, “ and gathered information from school personnel, found that “Two-thirds report that their school had an enhanced reputation and ability to attract students to their green investments; 91% of K-12 schools and 87% of higher education state that their green schools increase health and well-being; 74% of K-12 and 63