Our chosen environment helps us to be healthier and enhance our wellbeing!
In the design world called “Wellness Architecture”, sometimes referred to as biophilic design or enlightened design, is exchanging the conversation on how we interact with being inside. The concept purports that it’s not just what we put in our bodies that affects our wellbeing but also what we surround ourselves with. Wellness architecture focuses on several key areas, including air, water, light, fitness, comfort and mental health. The focus of lighting in wellness architecture, for example, respects our natural, daily cycles by attempting to mimic the circadian rhythm. There are many creative ideas for utilizing the space you have to enhance light. One is to move your desk or workspace near a window or consider a lamp that has a timer to change light setting at set times, or a sunlight lamp (sometimes called SAD).
Air and water are other principle elements those in the wellness architecture world bring their design of buildings and spaces. Regarding water, everything from small to big water art as fountains or water falls, is used to connect people. For air the focus is on the quality of the air. Wellness architecture puts an emphasis on air circulation and decreasing toxins in the indoor air. Plants or specific air purifiers also can be used to naturally purify air. But even something as simple ceiling fan and an open window can help to avoid stale air in a room.
Encouraging physical fitness is another focus of wellness architecture. We are all aware of the global concern about the sedentary lifestyle that is the norm in developed countries. Public health experts have referred to it as “the new smoking” in terms of public concern. For the past few decades our society has been constructed around convenience, admittedly important, making movement accessible for all. Not surprisingly, wellness architecture works to make activity not only more available, but also more inventing. Strategically positioning staircases is one way to encourage increased physical activity, but also it makes it more aesthetically appealing to walk up.
What can we do in our homes and workplaces to veer towards wellness? Declutter your space, add plants of varying texture and colours, switch to a standing desk, select natural materials, open windows for a fresh breeze, whenever possible, just bring the outdoor "in"!