Value of Outdoor Spaces (07-19-22)

Iqbal and Abubakar confirm how useful outdoor restorative spaces can be.   They report that “During the pandemic, the frontline healthcare workers experience intense anxiety, stress, burnout, and psychological breakdown, with severe implications on their mental and physical well-being. In addition to these implications, anxiety and stress can hinder their productivity and ability to perform their duties efficiently. The literature indicates that hospital gardens and contact with nature can help alleviate psychological distress among hospital staff. . . . This article also underscores the role of hospital outdoor spaces and garden facilities in coping with the challenges. While other measures to reduce stress among hospital staff and ensure their health and safety are important, hospital administrators and relevant government agencies should also emphasize the provision of gardens and open spaces in healthcare facilities. These spaces can act as potential areas for respite for hospital staff to help them cope with the stress and anxiety accumulated through working under crises.”

Saad Iqbal and Ismaila Abubakar.  “Hospital Outdoor Spaces as Respite Areas for Healthcare Staff During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  HERD:  Health Environments Research and Design Journal, in press, https://doi.org/10.1177/19375867221111530