Promote Physical Health/Improve Health Outcomes

Exercising and Thinking (07-01-19)

Research by Pantzar and colleagues confirms the value of supporting employee efforts to exercise, via onsite exercise facilities, for example.  The investigators report that “Aerobic exercise influence cognition in elderly, children, and neuropsychiatric populations. . . . The sample consisted of . . .office workers. . . . A cognitive test battery (9 tests), assessed processing speed, working memory, executive functions and episodic memory. . . .  Groups of moderate . . . and high . . . fitness outperformed the group of low . . .

Music and Working Out (06-20-19)

Stork and colleagues investigated how music influenced mood and enjoyment of sprint interval training (SIT).  They determined that “Motivational music enhanced affect [mood] and enjoyment of sprint interval training (SIT).  Heart rate and peak power output were elevated during SIT in the music condition. Perceived exertion was similar across music, podcast, and no-audio SIT conditions. . .

Health and Workplace Design (06-18-19)

Roskams and Haynes studied how workplace design can promote employee health. Via a literature review they distinguished  “three components of an employee’s ‘sense of coherence’ (comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness), an individual orientation associated with more positive health outcomes. . . . Comprehensibility can be supported by effectively implementing a clear set of rules governing the use of the workplace. Manageability can be supported through biophilic design solutions, and through design which supports social cohesion and physical activity.

Recommended Nature Doses (06-10-19)

White and colleagues investigated how much exposure to nature we need to remain healthy and happy. They “examined associations between recreational nature contact in the last seven days and self-reported health and well-being. . . . Analyses controlled for residential greenspace and other neighbourhood and individual factors. Compared to no nature contact last week, the likelihood of reporting good health or high well-being became significantly greater with contact ≥120 min[utes]s (e.g. 120–179 mins: . . . ). Positive associations peaked between 200–300 mins per week with no further gain.

Eating Postures: Repercussions (06-06-19)

Research by Biswas and colleagues links perceptions of how food tastes to the posture of the person eating it; it is possible that their findings can be extended to other contexts. The researchers report that “The results of six experiments show that vestibular sensations related to posture (i.e., sitting vs. standing) influence food taste perceptions.  Specifically, standing (vs. sitting) postures induce greater physical stress on the body, which in turn decreases sensory sensitivity. As a result, when eating in a standing (vs.

Father-Friendly Clinic Design (05-29-19)

Research indicates that developing prenatal care offices where fathers feel more comfortable may increase their involvement with prenatal care.  As Albuja and teammates report, “A father’s involvement in prenatal care engenders health benefits for both mothers and children. . . . three studies tested whether the inclusion of environmental cues that represent men and fatherhood in prenatal care offices influenced men’s beliefs and behavioral intentions during the perinatal period.

Office Design, User Perceptions (05-24-19)

Candido, Chakraborty, and Tjondronegoro investigated how office design influences user perceptions of their performance, health, and comfort.  The researchers found via a post-occupancy evaluation program (nearly 9,000 completed surveys) of offices in Australia that “For open-plan offices, the best-performing features for predicting perceived productivity were . . . amount of interruption, work area aesthetics, degree of adaptation of the work area, furnishing, overall amount of noise, cleanliness, and personal control over lighting.

Emergency Department Design (05-22-19)

Gharaveis, Hamilton, Shepley, Pati, and Rodiek studied how Emergency Department design influences teamwork, communication, and security;  their findings are applicable in both healthcare and other contexts.  The Gharaveis-lead team reports that “By providing high accessibility and visibility, the security issues can be minimized and teamwork and communication can be enhanced. . . . Transparency in the core of the ED would improve levels of teamwork and communication. . . .  design should provide visual and acoustical privacy when needed by flexibility in design. . . .

Clinic Design (05-20-19)

Karp and colleagues studied the design of primary care clinics.  They probed, via multiple research tools, how “two different primary care clinic physical layouts (onstage/offstage and pod-based [PB] designs) influenced pre- and post visit team experiences and perceptions.Protocols encourage healthcare team communication before and after primary care visits to support better patient care. . . .In the onstage/offstage design, colocated teams had increased verbal communication but perceived being isolated from other clinic teams.

Odors and Food Consumption (05-03-19)

Lefebvre and Biswas studied links between environmental odors, perceived temperature, and food consumption.  They found via field and lab experiments that “the presence of a warm ambient odor (e.g., cedarwood) versus a cool ambient odor (e.g., eucalyptus) reduces the amount of calories consumed and also leads to increased choice of lower-calorie food options. This is attributable to established implicit associations formed from the human body’s innate physiological response to changes in ambient temperature. Specifically, exposure to a warm (vs.


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