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Aspects of Health: What Has Changed?

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When I studied wellness in school (in the 1980s/90s), these were the aspects of health:

Spritual + Social + Physical + Mental + Emotional

Now, we’ve expanded them to include a few more:

Spiritual + Social + Physical + Mental+ Emotional + Intellectual + Environmental + Occupational

I’ll simplify:

Mental Health: We’re All Affected

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As we work to lift the mental health stigma, we’re missing the boat. The conversation should be: What can we do to promote a mentally healthy environment for ourselves and others every day?

Mental health is a spectrum; don’t delude yourself, we’re all on it. It ranges from “normal” emotions to “abnormal” emotions…from happy and perky at one end to suicidal thoughts at the other. And most of us aren’t hovering around happy and perky.

We don’t realize how much our daily emotional and mental health affects us. How we feel affects every single thing in our worlds. Just take a snapshot of any scenario from yesterday. What happened? What were your feelings around the event? How did you react? How did you feel physically based on what you thought and did in response? If it was a negative exchange at work, for example, maybe you got a knot in your stomach and couldn’t concentrate on your project for 45 minutes after the encounter.

The Impact of Design on Health and Wellness

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What could be better than creating “Human Spaces: Spaces Designed with the Human in Mind?” Creating spaces for humans should not only be of interest to designers but to people who work, who shop, who live, who go to school in these environments. That’s everybody!

I jumped at the chance to write for Human Spaces. Check out their web site and my blog on The Impact of Design on Health and Wellness (repost below).

The Impact of Design on Health and Wellness

While wellness in the individual is multifactorial, signs point to a distinct link between wellness and design. As we improve the built environment with design elements that include better lighting, more fresh air and the use of materials and products that don’t leach toxic chemicals into the air, it would follow that health and well-being of the occupants should improve.

Virtual Reality: How Does It Affect You?

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Slip on your headset and enter a world that you create, one where you choose your body, your personality, your environment. Maybe you choose a muscular, medium-build with a passionate, yet easy-going affect who lives in the city and works downtown.

This is virtual reality beyond filmmaking and gaming. And it’s just around the corner.

Oculus, Samsung, Microsoft, Google and certainly many others are pouring millions into virtual reality viewing devices and the accompanying software.

For now it’s for movies and games, but not for long.

The Effects of Indoor Spaces on Our Health

Clean Energy pic w lightbulb

How do our indoor spaces affect us? Most of us don’t give this much thought. But as we listen to the green building industry and consider the myriad chemicals that are outgassed from the products and materials that we build, design and decorate our indoors with, it gives us pause.

Consider this…we spend 90 percent of our time indoors. We sleep indoors all night, get up, jump in our car, work indoors all day, go back home, go to bed. A little simplified, sure. But for the most part, true.

What can we do?

Corporate Wellness Programs…Do They Really Work?

sphygmomanometer free imageImagine if your employer asked you what your cholesterol level is, your BP (blood pressure), how often you exercise, what your reproductive plans are, if you’re happy at home…oh wait, they do!

Corporate Wellness programs often include questionnaires with very personal questions that seemingly have nothing to do with your work life. Employers want to reduce health care costs and, with good intentions to improve employee health, they engage corporate wellness firms to put wellness programs in place. Do these wellness programs improve well-being?

Some say yes: