Promote Physical Health/Improve Health Outcomes

Food Choice and Clothing (11-20-20)

Research linking clothing worn and food selections may indicate an effect that can be broadened to environmental design; future research will confirm such a link, or not. Wang and teammates found that “formal and informal clothes styles can activate different clothes-image associations and thus make consumers more likely choose a food type (healthy or unhealthy) that is congruent with a specific set of clothes-image associations, referred to as clothes-food congruence. For example, wearing formal clothes can activate such formal-clothes associations as being self-controlled and organized.

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.

Encouraging Distancing (10-21-20)

Researchers investigated how to encourage people to maintain desired interpersonal distances via signage. Guchait, Do, and Wang found (study published in The Service Industries Journal) that “Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance, many do not. . . . negativity and anthropomorphism, or attributing human characteristics to nonhuman objects . . . improve the persuasiveness of those appeals. . . .

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. . .

Nature and Performance (09-25-20)

Sadik and Kamardeen researched the professional implications of experiencing indoor nature (for example, inside plants, window views, pre-recorded nature sounds) and outdoor nature.  They determined via a literature review that “indoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to social sustainability through its impact on workers' health and motivation while outdoor nature exposure contributes [positively] to economic, environmental and social sustainability through its impact on workers' restoration, stress reduction and stress coping.

Lighting Resource from Rensselaer (09-11-20)

The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer is making available, at the web address noted below, an information-packed video that will be useful both to people designing lightscapes and also to anyone working from home.  At the source website, the LRC shares that it “has released a new video on how to maintain good sleep while working from home, or quarantining indoors, which is becoming more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic.

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