Think Green, Healthier spaces and lifestyle: What makes a healthy space, to improve quality of life.
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Nowadays, most humans spend 90% of their time in indoor spaces according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The spaces we grow up, work, or interact with others, are more than just that, they are places where people thrive and interact with others. That’s why we need to think about how we can make healthier spaces. Marmaroph’s ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life of people and make wonderful experiences for everyone without harming the environment. Quality life for us means having health, wellbeing, joy, security, and spaces that adapt to human lifestyle and needs. For you, what does the quality of life means? Leave your answers in the comments below. We take into account the previous aspects so we can design spaces to improve the quality of life of our customers and users. In this article, we will talk about the factors that make a healthy space, so keep reading to learn more!
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “complete physical, mental, and social well-being. We commonly and mistakenly think that being healthy is the absence of illness. However, being healthy goes beyond physical health and includes mental health and the extent to social well-being in which individuals can have flourishing lives. So, to have a healthy space, we listed the factors we consider the most relevant to our designs to have healthy spaces.
• Natural Light: It seems pretty obvious that natural light is important, however many times we don’t know why. The natural light coming from the sun is important for all living organisms on earth for many reasons:
The first one is involved in many cycles like the circadian rhythm. This rhythm’s the internal Clock we have in our bodies and it’s also called the sleep/wake cycle. Why it is important? because it determines your natural sleep and feeding patterns. So, when it’s dark your hypothalamus is sending signals to your brain to go to sleep and when there is light it wakes you up. Not having the entrance of natural light in different spaces of your life such as your office, your home, your workstation among others is a very big problem that affects your circadian rhythm and as long as we can assure the entrance of natural light you will be healthy!
The second one, it also improves your mood and psychological wellbeing. Have you ever been to space where you can’t see if it's raining if it's sunny or if it's dark, how did you feel? Lack of natural light can make us feel depressed or anxious. Have you heard about “winter depression”? this is also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Mayo Clinic, some of the symptoms can include a persistent low mood, a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, irritability, feelings of despair, guilt, and worthlessness among others.
The third one, studies have shown that also helps with productivity and focus. According to research called "Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life," from the Northwestern University in Chicago, concluded that there is a strong relationship between natural light in sleep focus, efficiency, and activity.
• Ventilation: Ventilation is also a very important factor to make spaces comfortable, healthy, and reduce energy waste. The ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow is in a humid, warm, and dark one. The combination of the ventilation and sun allows having healthier spaces because it reduces the possibility of growing fungi and bacteria in the environment as the air flows through the spaces, so people won't get sick with respiratory illnesses like pneumonia or bronchitis.
• Air Quality: Air quality is crucial for our health. The pollution caused by greenhouse gases and other pollutants, especially in cities is growing and in some places at an alarming rate. We can’t change that in a short period, but we can contribute with the buildings and projects we design. We have the most cost-efficient solution of all and it's definitely not new. Think Green, when we plant indoor and outdoor plants, we can have cleaner air on our spaces, as plants transform co2 into oxygen and glucose. Also, we can use humidifiers in our spaces to have humid air that is good for our lungs and skin.
• Temperature: It is obvious that temperature is crucial in any space. If we have a cold space, we use energy to heat our bodies, instead of using that energy to do other activities. Also, “Children living in cold homes are more than twice as likely to suffer from respiratory problems than children living in warm homes according to The Health Foundation.(Learn more what strategies Marmaroph uses with the least amount of energy)
• Outdoor Space: We think as outdoor spaces into two categories. Outdoors space in buildings such as balconies, terraces and rooftops and urban outdoor spaces like parks and squares. In any of the two, outdoor spaces are important for many factors: 1. We can get sunlight in a short period. The ultraviolet rays (UVB) help our bodies with the synthesis of vitamin D. This process occurs when the UVB rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur" according to heathline. Vitamin D is most vital "regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function". It also helps to reduce depression and boosts weight loss. 2. Sunlight also helps with the circadian rhythm we mentioned above, and other functions. 3. Outdoor spaces also allow to have spaces to make exercise and keep us active. Finally, to interact with others to have social gatherings to help reduce insolation, believe it or not, human isolation harms our mental health.
• Mental Health and Healing: What do you do whenever you want to relax and calm down? Probably you put some music with sounds coming from nature or look into the sky or go on a trip to the woods to escape the urban jungle. Whatever you may do, we bet that solution has to do something with nature and there’s a reason for that. According to Harvard Health “Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression”. Also, having green spaces can heal and faster. (watch this TED conference that talks about this). We know you can’t be in the woods if you don’t leave in the countryside but that’s why Marmaroph with Macerie our Interior Design Brand, have designed a line to plant different species of plants to grow in green walls, planters and pots. (Learn more about here)
• Food, cultivate at home or at work: We know you’ve probably heard that we are what we eat. The healthier you can eat is Natural. Eating vegetables, fruits, and some species of herbs contribute to our health because the more we eat, the most species of bacteria we have in our gut and that makes us stronger among other functions. (Learn more about gut health) So, we encourage you to start cultivating at your home. You will have your food fresh, cleaner air, and also contribute to mental health and to reduce your environmental footprint because the food you used to buy in the supermarket you won’t buy them anymore so the use of transportation is no longer needed! Go ahead and check our green line and buy yours here.
Well, that's all for now! But if you are interested and want to know more about some topics that we’ve mentioned above, you can read other articles that talk about them more deeply, so go ahead, we’ll love if you learn more about architecture, sustainability, interior design and well off course Marmaroph! Join our community to keep updated and learning. If you have any questions or would like to buy or quote a project, don't be afraid and contact us, we are looking forward to meeting you and help you!
We would love it, if you take some of your precious time and leave us responses to the questions!
We keep investigating and learning more about our customers and users lifestyle, in order to design spaces that truly adapt to people. That is why we would like to know more about you!
What is the most important thing for you in sustainable architecture?
How do you Imagine healthy spaces and what they mean to you?
Have you ever being on a space without light and ventilation? What did it feel like?