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. . .
Age - For example: Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers
Corridor length, turns, and more relevant
Zhao lead a group that investigated how environments can influence cheating by 5- and 6-year olds. The team report that they “test the moral barrier hypothesis, which posits that moral violations can be inhibited by the introduction of spatial boundaries, including ones that do not physically impede the act of transgressing. We found that both real and imagined barriers, when placed strategically [between children and a piece of paper with the answers to test questions on it], were able to reduce cheating among 5- to 6-y-olds. . . .
Pushing and pulling to a new home
Portegijs and colleagues studied how neighborhood features influence the (self-reported) physical activity/mobility of older (79-94 year old) residents of a Finnish community. They asked study participants to indicate “destinations perceived to facilitate and barriers perceived to hinder outdoor mobility in their neighborhood. . . . analyses adjusted for age, sex, and physical performance showed that neighborhood destinations increased the odds for higher physical activity when located beyond 500 m from home . . . but not when located solely within 500 m . . .
Andersen and colleagues studied how playground design influences how children (grades 4 to 9) play. The research team gathered data at three Danish schoolyards and reports that when activity in renovated schoolyards was compared to that in one that was mainly asphalt “with few features” that “At two schools, time and physical activity increased in the renewed area, but for one school they decreased.
Child-focused design decoded
Gaminiesfahani and colleagues investigated how healthcare environments can best meet the needs of pediatric patients. They determined via a review of published research that “the built environment characteristics of pediatric healthcare environments that have healing benefits include access to nature, music, art and natural light, reduced crowding, reduced noise, and soft, cyclical, and user-controlled artificial lighting.”
Clouse’s team investigated the optimal design of spaces to be used by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They share that “Mostafa recommended seven design criteria known as ASPECTSS™: Acoustics, Spatial sequencing, Escape spaces, Compartmentalization, Transition spaces, Sensory zoning, and Safety, when designing for people with ASD. These classifications lay the groundwork for the established guidelines. . . . recommendations demonstrate that sensitivity to the needs of people with autism creates a solution that is better for all people.”
Research lead by Paksarian and Merikangas, and published in JAMA Psychiatry, confirms that nighttime light can have undesirable consequences. Investigators determined that “adolescents [13-18 years olds] who live in areas that have high levels of artificial light at night tend to get less sleep and are more likely to have a mood disorder relative to teens who live in areas with low levels of night-time light. . . . Daily rhythms, including the circadian rhythms that drive our sleep-wake cycles, are thought to be important factors that contribute to physical and mental health.