A study published in the medical journal The Lancet links urban design to road transport injuries. Thompson lead a study during which “1692 cities capturing one third of the world's population were classified into types based on urban design characteristics. . . . road transport injury was an estimated two-times higher . . . for the poorest performing city type compared with the best performing city type, culminating in an estimated loss of 8·71 (8·08–9·25) million disability-adjusted life-years per year attributable to suboptimal urban design.
Promote Physical Health/Improve Health Outcomes
Size influences outcomes
Furhapper and colleagues investigated the experience of living in newly-built timber homes. They conducted a “study [that] included a comparison of the construction types timber-frame (TF) and solid wood (SF), in addition two different ventilation types, controlled vs. window ventilation. . . The emission progression of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde, was recorded and compared with the subjective well-being of the residents . . . VOC-emissions were initially elevated regardless of construction and ventilation type.
Buruck lead a team that linked job control and chronic lower back pain (CLBP). Job control was described as including decision authority and skill discretion; it is reasonable to tie this definition to comfortable levels of control over the physical work environment, choices of where to work, and similar factors. Buruck and colleagues learned via a literature review and meta-analysis that “CLBP was significantly positively related to workload . . . and significantly negatively related to overall job control . . . decision authority . . . and two measures of social support. . .
Patania and colleagues the experiences of people exercising while listening to music with different tempos. They evaluated data collected “during endurance (walking for 10’ at 6.5 km/h on a treadmill) and high intensity (80% on 1-RM) exercise under four different randomly assigned conditions: without music (NM), with music at 90 - 110 bpm [beats per minute] (LOW), with music at 130 - 150 bpm (MED) and with music at 170 - 190 bpm (HIGH). During each trial, heart rate (HR) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. . . .
Research published in Sustainabilityindicates that even apparently low levels of outdoor light at night can degrade human lives. A research team lead by Grubisicdetermined that “even low light intensities of urban skyglow can suppress melatonin production. Melatonin synchronizes the day-night-rhythm in animals and humans. It adjusts the circadian clocks of cells, tissues and organs, and regulates other seasonal processes like reproduction. . . .
Researchers are developing a more nuanced understanding of when it is best to use lights of various colors and intensities. A press release from the University of Manchester reports that “Contrary to common belief, blue light may not be as disruptive to our sleep patterns as originally thought - according to University of Manchester scientists. According to the team, using dim, cooler, lights in the evening and bright warmer lights in the day may be more beneficial to our health.
Researchers at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer and the US General Services Administration (GSA) conducted important research related to at-work alertness and nighttime sleep. During their study “luminaires, mounted near the participants’ computer monitors provided: (1) morning saturated blue light delivering a circadian stimulus (CS) of 0.4, (2) midday polychromatic white light delivering a CS of 0.3, and (3) afternoon saturated red light delivering a CS close to zero. . . .
Another reason nature matters
Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, indicates that the temperature and air quality in K-12 classrooms may be degrading students’ ability to learn. A press release from Davis, reporting on a study from UC Davis and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) published in Building and Environment,states that “Roughly 85 percent of recently installed HVAC systems in K-12 classrooms investigated in California did not provide adequate ventilation. . . . researchers visited 104 classrooms . . .