Enhance Satisfaction/Quality of Life

Sound and Cognitive Issues (10-22-20)

Weuve and teammates studied links between noise levels experienced at home and cognitive issues. The researchers report that “Participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project (≥65 years) underwent triennial [every 3 years] cognitive assessments. For the 5 years preceding each assessment, we estimated 5227 participants’ residential level of noise from the community using a spatial prediction model, and estimated associations of noise level with prevalent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD [Alzheimer’s disease], cognitive performance, and rate of cognitive decline.

Window Views: Implications (10-15-20)

Ko and colleagues evaluated how windows influence space user experiences.  They report that they “assessed the influence of having a window with a view [of nature] on thermal and emotional responses as well as on cognitive performance. . . . The chamber kept the air and window surface temperature at 28 °C, a slightly warm condition. . . . In the space with versus without windows, the thermal sensation was significantly cooler ( . . .  equivalent to 0.74 °C lower), and 12% more participants were thermally comfortable.

Lighting for Sleeping (10-08-20)

Investigators have found that varying lighting in nursing homes during the course of the day, so that light intensity and color mimics lighting conditions outdoors, supports better sleep among residents. Baier, Miller,  McCreedy, Uth, Wetle, Noell-Waggoner, Stringer, and Gifford, used data collected from study participants with an average age of 88 to better understand sleep related issues among nursing home residents: “Nursing home residents tend to fall asleep at all hours of the day, and during the night, their sleep may be interrupted by periods of wakefulness. . .

Reviewing 20 Years of CBE Data (07-29-20)

A Graham-lead team at the Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley, reviewed 20 years of data collected by the Center; their findings are available without charge at the web address noted below. The CBE researchers report that “One of the most widely used online POE [post-occupancy evaluation] tools is the Center for the Built Environment’s Occupant Survey. We analyzed data collected from this tool over the last two decades (>90,000 respondents from ~900 buildings) to summarize the database and evaluate the survey structure.

Birthing Room Design (07-24-20)

Nilsson lead a team that reviewed previously published studies to learn how birthing room design affects mothers and neonates, physically and emotionally.  They share that “The results of the analysis reveal four prominent physical themes in birthing rooms that positively influence on maternal and neonate physical and emotional outcomes: (1) means of distraction, comfort, and relaxation; (2) raising the birthing room temperature; (3) features of familiarity; and (4) diminishing a technocratic environment.”

Teenagers and Light at Night (07-17-20)

Research lead by Paksarian and Merikangas, and published in JAMA Psychiatry, confirms that nighttime light can have undesirable consequences.  Investigators determined that “adolescents [13-18 years olds] who live in areas that have high levels of artificial light at night tend to get less sleep and are more likely to have a mood disorder relative to teens who live in areas with low levels of night-time light. . . . Daily rhythms, including the circadian rhythms that drive our sleep-wake cycles, are thought to be important factors that contribute to physical and mental health.

Neighborhood Satisfaction (07-07-20)

Neal probed factors that influence people’s satisfaction with their neighborhood and his findings are published in Urban Studies.  Neal determined that “’Contrary to what many would think, characteristics of your neighborhood have little to do with how satisfied you are with it’ [quote attributed to Neal]. . . . Neal’s research revisited findings from 27 earlier studies that spanned 11 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, and included a sample of more than 250,000 adults living in those neighborhoods. . . .

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