Increase Productivity/Performance

More on Workplace Pedaling (08-14-15)

Carr and his team link at-desk pedaling to big payoffs.  They provided a small, relatively inexpensive device to participants in their study that allows people to move their legs in a pedaling sort of motion while sitting in their desk chair, using their computer, and working in their “usual” way—all without hitting their knees on the underside of their work surface.  Adding this “pedaler” to a conventional workspace creates an “activity permissive workstation.”  When such a setup was supplied, study participants used “the activity permissive workstations 50 minutes/work day [on average].

Reminders of Money (07-30-15)

Vohs has summarized research done to date on what happens when people are reminded of money, for example, via images seen.  Her findings have wide ranging implications.  They should, for example, influence artwork selections.  Vohs determined that “Money priming experiments (totaling 165 to date, from 18 countries) point to at least 2 major effects. First, compared to neutral primes, people reminded of money are less interpersonally attuned. They are not prosocial, caring, or warm. They eschew interdependence.

Rosemary and Lavender in the News (07-23-15)

The BBC has recently published an article about research on the implications of smelling rosemary and lavender that was discussed several years ago in Research Design Connections.  The BBC publication will bring additional attention to the repercussions of smelling these scents among the general public.  To quote the BBC report, “In scientific terms there are different kinds of memory. There's past memory - your experiences and what you learned at school. There's present memory, which is your working minute-to-minute memory. And there's future memory or ‘remembering to remember’.

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.


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