Using the stairs instead of an elevator helps us keep trim and saves energy—and stairway design and placement, for instance, can boost the likelihood we’ll take the stairs. New research supplies another reason to encourage stair use via design – we feel energized after walking up and down stairs. Investigators have found that “10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda. . . . [Patrick J.
Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing
Researchers from the Universities of York and Edinburgh studied responses to busy and green urban spaces. They determined that among the people over 65 who participated in their study “Walking between busy urban environments and green spaces triggers changes in levels of excitement, engagement and frustration in the brain. . . . volunteers. . . wore a mobile EEG head-set which recorded their brain activity when walking between busy and green urban spaces. The research team also ran a video of the routes the people walked, asking the participants to describe ‘snapshots’ of how they felt.
Kylen and her colleagues investigated how living situations influenced the wellbeing of people aged 67-70. They found that “depression was less common among participants who reported . . . bonding to the home, and among those who felt that they had control over their housing situation. . . . external housing-related control beliefs were associated with psychological well-being.” So, generally, housing-related control was linked to greater psychological wellbeing and lower likelihood of depression. Data were collected in southern Sweden.
Ebbensgaard reports on landscape design that engineers sensory experiences. He states that “Post-industrial wastelands have been given increased attention by landscape architects since the late 1990s. Through their redesign, landscape architects argue that the sensory qualities of wild nature benefit people’s health and well-being and improve the urban ecosystem. . . . such landscape designs mark a shift from designing nature as such to designing the sensation of nature. . . .
The lighting in hospital intensive care units influences patients' wellbeing, even a year after they are discharged from the hospital. Researchers have found that “With light adapted to the time of day, health even improves for patients who are barely conscious when they are admitted for care. . . . In order to counterbalance the traditional ICU department with low levels of daylight and nights when lighting is frequently turned on [researchers tested an] experimental environment with so-called cyclical lighting that changed during the day. . . .
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