Endangered Indoor Environment Taking a Toll on Health & Happiness
Today, we live more than 90% of our life indoors. While there is no doubt that modern amenities have made people’s lives a lot easier and comfortable indoors, they have also made people’s lives lethargic. Simply put, they have allowed people to not do things that they were forced to do before.
People are increasingly confined within, both at home and in a setting called the office. They have not only fostered a less meaningful connection with nature but have also reduced contact with the open-air world to the maximum.
This is unfortunate as nature is necessary for our physical and psychological well-being. Lack of it is making people lead sedentary lives for longer periods of time. Further, people are also exerting less energy which tends to make us less fit. No wonder, people feel a gargantuan gap on a fairly customary substratum between what our comfort is and what is offered.
A study has recently revealed an authenticity that a billion people suffer from vitamin D deficiency and most of the world’s population have vitamin paucity. Likewise, another study has disclosed that detachment from the natural world – natural sunlight and air, can specifically have negative impacts. More so in places where there is poor indoor air quality. Polluted indoor air can be nearly five times as polluted as outdoor air. Often, in many cases, it leads to harmful effects resulting in serious health issues as respiratory problems or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
HOW CAN INDOOR ELEMENTS AFFECT US?
Whether people are living and spending time in a home or working in an office indoors, for the most part of the day, indoor elements can be hazardous in the following ways:
- BECOME SURPRISINGLY TOXIC: An average indoor environment is basically complex, with varied factors at play that potentially affects indoor occupant’s well-being. Building dampness and contaminant exposure can be dangerous for occupant’s health. Likewise, materials with high levels of volatile organic compounds (also called VOCs) like paints, varnishes, wood preservatives, and other building materials, result in harmful indoor air quality. People who spent most of their time in such indoor environments risk being exposed to particularly high levels of these damaging compounds.
- AFFECTS WORK, INTERACTION & SLEEP: A study by Well Living Lab (a collaboration between Delos & the Mayo Clinic, US) reveals that even indoor environment which is not too toxic, can be dangerous. The biological response of indoor occupants to various changing elements in the environment like changes in lighting, acoustic, and thermal conditions, etc, affects how they perform, interact, and sleep. They often tend to not feel or perform their best in such an environment.
- AFFECTS WORK PRODUCTIVITY: Workplaces without adequate ventilation, air-flow, and such like factors, greatly affect indoor occupants work performance and also cause major sleep issues. As a result of this, work productivity in such workplaces rapidly declines.
Considering the above hazards, clean water and air offer a remedy to overcome stress and slumber, while enhancing performance, and comfort. Everyone today is verbalizing about technology; how it has solved our cab quandary, victuals distribution, and credit card payment from the grocery store to attire. But nobody has yet come forward to talk about how technology can solve authentic quandaries.
Technology by itself cannot be a solution for the long term. What is better needed is best explained by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School Of Public Health, in its project called ‘The Healthy Buildings Project’. This project details as to ‘How a Healthy Building’ should like and what new standards for indoor health it can set.
The project, a brainchild of Environmental Design Professor, Joseph Allen and his team, has come up with a condensed approach, called ‘The 9 Foundations of a Healthy Building’. They include – air quality; thermal health; moisture; dust and pests; safety and security; water quality; noise; lighting and views; and ventilation. Buildings that successfully incorporate the 9 foundations and encourage us to see ourselves as part of the natural world will flourish than those tend to isolate us from the natural world.
We know as a law of nature that whatever we have engendered will die one day; so the only solution is either find another world or preserve it up to it anyway. This is where a leading intelligent design solutions provider, Uniworks Designs, one of the best interior designers in Hyderabad and Delhi that offer meaningful solutions through biophilic designs. They have some of the best architects and offer product design services in both Hyderabad and Delhi.
Biophilic designs not only help to preserve buildings but also help to foster a healthier indoor environment for humans with a healthy connection with nature. From conceptualisation to project coordination and more, Uniworks Designs has successfully incorporated biophilic designs with precision and attention to detail, to create spaces that have been acknowledged as timeless work of art, a feast to the eyes and soothing-balm to the senses.
Today, indoor built environments are thankfully getting more attention as architects and designers in league with builders are giving more importance to healthy human-first indoor spaces. Indoor spaces that consider occupant’s well-being are becoming the norm the world over. With human wellness as the core-driver, the impact of such spaces design will be greater than ever, in the days ahead.