Select location and language
Select location
Ubicación global
ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
Health in spatial design: how the outside influences our interior

Health in spatial design: how the outside influences our interior

NOVEMBER 2023 | 3 minutes

People inhabit spaces and those spaces influence their health. For better or for worse. If the needs and conditions that people require are ignored, discomfort, fatigue and dissatisfaction set in. But if, on the other hand, spaces are designed and equipped with wellbeing in mind, motivation, creativity and productivity are enhanced.

This intense connection between space, health and wellness is the subject of a special series of the podcast 'El Podcast de Jana Fernández - A Guide to Live Well' which was recorded in one of Actiu's Qyos booths during the Hábitat fair.

Well-being and health from the design of spaces

The topic addressed in this first installment was spaces and movement in a talk between Actiu's Brand Reputation director and advisor, Soledat Berbegal, the doctor Javier Dols and the communicator Jana Fernández. The focus was on the factthat physical inactivity is a public health problem directly related to premature mortality and chronic diseases.

Although we are all well aware of the benefits of regular physical activity, according to WHO data, 1 in 4 adults in the world do not achieve the recommended levels of physical activity, and in the case of adolescents this figure reaches 80%.Such is the problem that in 2018, the WHO World Health Assembly agreed a global target to reduce physical inactivity by 10% by 2030 to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Including physical activity in the design of workplaces

Physical activity brings health benefits for the heart, body and mind, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving reasoning, learning and judgement skills and enhancing people's general wellbeing. In the same line of argument about people's need for movement, Javier Dols, a family doctor, expresses himself in the podcast , stating that "man is the only monkey that does not move". "Exercise should not be confused with the cult of the body, nor wellbeing with laziness.Investing in your health is better than investing in your illness," he stresses.

The human need for movement was connected during the conversation with the need to equip workspaces with agile and ergonomic furniture that can also be raised, as is the case with the Talent and Mobility desks, which make it possible to alternate between standing and sitting.

"In countries such as Germany and Denmark, 80% of the desks in use are now elevating and in Spain they are on the rise. This greater movement oxygenates people and gives them more creativity," says Soledat Berbegal.

Promoting Well-being and Productivity through Acoustic Comfort

Acoustic comfort is one of the factors that strongly influences the wellbeing of a space. Excessive noise, telephone calls and loud conversations often lead to concentration problems and excessive fatigue. Qyos cabins, available in four sizes, allow you to create islands of peace and quiet in open spaces, where you can isolate yourself from the hustle and bustle of the outside world and focus on the task at hand, without interruptions or disturbances.

The WELL certificate, which is awarded to companies that demonstrate a firm commitment to people's health, measures the level of wellbeing inside buildings. Italso translates into a reduction in absenteeism of up to 37% and productivity improvements of up to 21%, according to a recent study by Cushman & Wakefield.

This series of podcasts dedicated to health and space follows the principles valued by the Well Certification such as water, light, food, movement, acoustic and thermal comfort and emotional wellbeing. In addition to Actiu, brands such as Simón, Greenarea, Ecocero, Arqueha, Hidrolux and professionals such as Anna Ferrer from CU4 Arquitectura, a specialist in WELL accreditation, have participated in this informative programme.

The six chapters can be listened to on platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify and Instagram. An opportunity to delve into the importance of all the parameters of the spaces that can contribute to improving (or not) people's health.