How a building is designed can influence how much physical activity you get. The Center for Active Design promotes architecture and urban planning solutions to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and healthy food access through the design of buildings, streets and neighborhoods. The organization believes that health does not stop or start at the doctor’s office, but begins in homes, workplaces, schools and communities.
For example, the Glen Oak Library in Queens, NY was remodeled to engage the community and promote wellness. Strategic floor-to-ceiling windows and greenery connect people to nature, and the centrally located staircase invites people to explore. It even includes outdoor art and seating to encourage people to go outside and walk around.
We can learn a lot from the Center for Active Design about creating a work space that supports well-being and encourages us to be active. Transformations as simple as adding plants, letting in sunlight and removing litter help create an inviting space. Expand on this initiative to include banning smoking and allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Company wellness programs can create a social atmosphere centered around leading healthier lives.
Sources: 1. Urban Land Institute