Promote Physical Health/Improve Health Outcomes

Cancer Care Center Design and Wellbeing (05-01-20)

Jellema, Annemans, and Heylighen studied the experiences of patients and their relatives and caregivers at cancer care facilities via a series of interviews. They report that their research probes “the roles cancer care facilities play in the well-being of patients, relatives, and care professionals, and identifies spatial aspects contributing to these roles. . . .  Cancer care facilities turn out to play a vital role by containing and mediating the confrontation with cancer. This requires attention for boundaries, routes, and transitions.

Hospital Ward Visibility (04-29-20)

Pachilova and Sailerused Space Syntax to study hospital ward design.  They report that “new research suggests that good face-to-face communication between doctors and nurses crucially impacts the health and safety of patients. . . . [the] Spaces for Communication Index (SCI). . . . assesses communication opportunities. . . . .[NHS wards were] analysed with the Space Syntax method, which investigated the size of visual fields of healthcare workers on everyday movement paths through the ward. Large viewsheds provide good visibility and awareness of the environment.

Viruses Indoors (03-30-20)

How interior environments influence virus spread was investigated by Iwasaki, Moriyama, and Hugentobler.  The researchers report that “seasonal moderation of relative humidity — the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity — could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission. (Viruses could still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises.) . . . there is a sweet spot in relative humidity for indoor environments, the review found.

Sound and Balance (03-18-20)

Researchers have determined that what we hear influences our balance.  The investigators report in a literature review published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck that “What people hear and do not hear can have a direct effect on their balance. . . . . ‘This study found that the sounds we hear affect our balance by giving us important information about the environment. . . . ‘ said senior author Maura Cosetti, MD. . . . people had more difficulty staying balanced or standing still on an uneven surface when it was quiet, but had better balance while listening to sounds. . . .

New Urbanism and Health (03-09-20)

Iravani and Rao looked at links between New Urbanist design and health.  They specifically studied  “how the 10 New Urbanism principles produce outcomes that affect public health. The outcomes include: (1) higher usage of non-motorized and public transit modes, which results in more physical activity; (2) lower usage of private automobiles, which results in less air pollution; (3) safer streets, which results in fewer traffic accidents; and (4) complete community planning for residents, regardless of income, age or ideas, which results in better access to health resources.

Play Space Design and Child Development/Health (02-20-20)

Particular sorts of outdoor play spaces have more positive effects on children’s health and mental development.  Researchers lead by Dankiw and Baldock determined that understanding “the importance of nature play could transform children’s play spaces, supporting investment in city and urban parks, while also delivering important opportunities for children’s physical, social and emotional development. . . . . [for] children aged 2-12 years . . . nature play improved children’s complex thinking skills, social skills and creativity. . . . this study . . .

Urban Design and Transport Injuries (02-04-20)

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.

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