Li, Zhai, Dou, and Liu studied how landscape preferences vary from situation to situation. They determined that “college students in varied moods all prefer natural landscapes and open view landscapes, a result that is consistent with previous research. . . . there are significant differences in the degree of naturalness of the preferred landscape among college students with different moods. . . . instead of a natural landscape, most respondents in a fatigued mood preferred a nature-dominated landscape with a small amount of built environment. . . .
Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress
Puglisi and colleagues studied the experiences of people working remotely and it seems likely that their findings can be applied more generally. The researchers report that data they collected via surveys completed by remote workers “show that 55% of the workers perform their activity in an isolated room of the home environment, 43% in a shared room (e.g., kitchen, living room), and 2% in an outdoor space, with the majority of workers (57%) performing activity without other people in the environment. . . .
The health-related, behavioral, and cognitive implications of having and using sit-stand desks have been carefully and thoroughly investigated by neuroscientists.
Urban combinations to encourage
Chang and colleagues continue research into the implications of experiencing natural environments. They report that “viewing green urban landscapes that vary in terms of green-space density elicits corresponding changes in the activity of the human ventral posterior cingulate cortex that is correlated to behavioural stress-related responses. . . . these findings raise a therapeutic potential for natural environmental exposure.. .
Kuhn and colleagues evaluated how time in nature affects conditions in the brain. The researchers report that “A whole-brain analysis [conducted via MRI] revealed that time spent outdoors was positively associated with grey matter volume in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and positive affect, also after controlling for physical activity, fluid intake, free time, and hours of sunshine. Results indicate remarkable and potentially behaviorally relevant plasticity of cerebral structure within a short time frame driven by the daily time spent outdoors.
Most new (and new-ish) offices are activity-based workplaces (ABWs), sometimes known as activity-based flexible offices (A-FOs). Neuroscientists have comprehensively studied how best to “ABW.”
Healthcare design-related research continues at a brisk pace. Some significant recent findings are applicable at healthcare facilities as well as in other contexts.
Is bigger better?
Hoki, Sato, and Kasai’s work indicates why adding carpeting to a space can be a good idea. The researchers “focused on the effects of indoor flooring in the residential environment on stress, as flooring is a feature that the human body is in contact with for long periods of time. We objectively measured the extent of psychological stress perceived while walking on carpeting and on wood flooring.” Study participants “were asked to walk on carpeting and wood flooring for 10 min each.