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  • Holistic Health Factors in theWorkplaceBiophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise
  • Image on cover & facing page derived from: Steelcase. (n.d.). The movement toward wellness in the workplace. Retrieved April 20, 2011, from
  • Holistic Health Factors in theWorkplaceBiophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseApril P. McEwan
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise by April P. McEwanAll content has been derived from the original Thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science in Design Approved April 2011 by the Graduate Supervisory Committee: Philip White, Chair Rebecca Barry James Shraiky ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY May 2011
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseAbstract In an attempt to advocate body- with qualitative and flexible research average miles walked by participantsconscious design and healing work approaches using observation, survey, in each workplace as well as existingenvironments, this research study interview and pedometer readings as incentives and descriptions of ideal workof holistic health in the workplace methods for data collection. Two small environments.explores cognitive, social and physical corporate franchise financial institutions Implications of this research study involvewell-being in four small US offices that and two small private healthcare interior design, industrial design andare between 1000 and 4000 square providers from both Arizona and Georgia fashion design that can accommodatefeet and employ three to twelve participated in this study. Each office the desires of the four participatingemployees. Holistic health, as pursued volunteered one employer and two workplaces. Major design implicationsin this research, includes social health, employee participants. involve accommodating these particularemotional health and physical health. Of the holistic health factors considered workplaces to provide personnel withThese three factors of holistic health in these four case studies, this study opportunities for holistic health in workinghave been identified and investigated found that a majority of participants environments. More specific implicationsin this study: biophilia: peoples’ love and equally valued emotional health, social of office related design involve providingaffiliation with other species and the health and physical health. A majority access to natural environments, body-natural environment; ergonomics: the of participants declared a preference conscious equipment and spaces, asrelationship between the human body, for workplace environments with serene well as opportunities for exercise andmovement, the immediate environment natural environments with outdoor social interaction. These elementsand productivity; and exercise: exertion spaces and interaction with other of the factors biophilia, ergonomicsof the body to obtain physical fitness. species, work environments with body- and exercise were found to be saidThis research study proposes that conscious furniture, equipment and to contribute to cognitive, social andemployees and employers of these four workstations, as well as exercise space physical health.participating workplaces desire mobility and equipment. As these particularand resources in the workplace that workplace environments affirmed valuesupport holistic health practices involving for elements of the factors biophilia,biophilia, ergonomics, and exercise. ergonomics and exercise, all threeLiterature review of holistic health and factors are considered valueable withinthe holistic health factors of this research the workplaces of these case studies.topic support the idea that interaction Furthermore, factors that were said towith other species can be healing, contribute to personal productivity inergonomic body-conscious furniture and participating workplaces were foundequipment increase productivity, limit as well as sacrifices that participantsbody aches, pains and health costs; and stated they would be willing to makeexercise stimulates the mind and body, in order to implement their preferredincreasing productivity. work environment(s). In addition,This study has been conducted primarily this study recorded and calculated iii
  • ContentsChapter PageIntroduction ............................................................................................................................... 2Problem Statement .................................................................................................................. 4Assumption ................................................................................................................................ 6Significance ............................................................................................................................... 7Scope ......................................................................................................................................... 9Review of Literature .................................................................................................................. 12 Holistic Health ............................................................................................................... 14 Biophilia ......................................................................................................................... 19 Ergonomics ................................................................................................................... 22 The Chair ....................................................................................................................... 24 Exercise ......................................................................................................................... 26 Environmental Psychology ......................................................................................... 29 Health and Healing Environments ............................................................................. 30Findings and Opportunities ...................................................................................................... 32Methodology ............................................................................................................................ 34Primary Research Findings ....................................................................................................... 37Discussion and Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 40References ................................................................................................................................ 49
  • FiguresFigure PageWord cloud of words used to describe Galen Cranz’s ideal workspace .......................... 2“Something, somewhere went terribly wrong” .................................................................... 4Steelcase image from Movement Toward Health in the Workplace booklet .................. 5Steelcase image from Movement Toward Health in the Workplace booklet .................. 6Elderly man and dog in park photo by April P. McEwan .................................................... 7Conceptual framework ........................................................................................................... 9Elements of factors of conceptual framework ..................................................................... 10Word cloud describing emotional health ............................................................................. 13Word cloud describing social health ..................................................................................... 15Steelcase social health image ............................................................................................... 16Word cloud describing physical health ................................................................................. 17Photo of Bougainvillea by April P. McEwan .......................................................................... 20Photo of tree spirit on Saint Simons Island by April P. McEwan ........................................... 21Varier® Gravity chair designed by Peter Opsvik .................................................................. 24Le Corbusier’s lounge chair ..................................................................................................... 24Varier® Variable ™ Balans ®, designed by Peter Opsvik .................................................... 24Steelcase physical health image ........................................................................................... 26Steelcase Walkstation by Details ............................................................................................ 27Rainbow rainforest hoto by April P. McEwan ........................................................................ 30Portland photo by April P. McEwan ....................................................................................... 32 v
  • FiguresFigure PageResearch Methodology mind map ........................................................................................ 34Word cloud of ideal work environment descriptions ........................................................... 39Categories of ideal work environment descriptions diagram ............................................ 43
  • Introduction Word cloud of words used to describe Galen Cranz’s ideal workspace in “Beyond Interior Design” of The Chair (Cranz, 1998)
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseIntroduction “The rhythm of life is when you experience your own body, mind and soul.” (Yogi tea bag, 2011) This study can be introduced with system. What you see before you is before you decide to move it to youra few of the words that instilled passion a spacious office, with natural light workstation. As you survey the room, youfor this research from a few pages of streaming in through the windows on experience a sense of being invited toThe Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, three sides. Since there is no off-gassing work here because so many differentand Design by Galen Cranz (1998). from walls, carpet, or furniture, and work spaces have been designed toThrough her study of the chair, Cranz because the windows are operable, a accommodate different activities. Whendiscovered that research suggests fresh smell pervades the place. In order you want to do some word processing,chair use deforms the body, which will to minimize the difference between the you can recline in a lounge chair withbe discussed further in the literature temperature indoors and out, the office the keyboard on your lap and the screenreview section about ergonomics. She temperature will be 68 degrees in the mounted at an angle, like a hospital-describes her ideal work environment in winter and 75 degrees in the summer” room television set on an expandablethe chapter “Beyond Interior Design”. (p. 218). arm. You could also choose to dictate toHer ideal workspace does not just alter your computer standing or perched on a Cranz’s ideal workspace takesworking positions; it caters to the overall high stool. When standing, a chest-high ergonomics and body movement intowell-being of users through design that surface within arm’s reach allows you to consideration with a variety of optionsaddresses emotional, social and physical take notes without bending your spine. for body postures. Furniture, equipmentaspects of health. Environmental All your associates in the office wear soft and space accommodate variousinfluences such as music, windows, fresh clothes in the natural fibers of silk, cotton, body positions, movement and supportsmells, moderate temperatures and the and wool, so they do not bind or restrict productivity. Besides interior design,physical environment manipulate people if the person wants to sit cross-legged on fashion design is even considered withemotionally and physically (Sternberg, the padded platforms while discussing suggestions for comfortable flexible2009). Furniture arrangements and business. These yielding clothes also clothing. Such clothing does not restrictspaces can either inhibit or encourage enable anyone who has a kink in the the body from movement if one wantssocial interaction amongst office back to lengthen his or her spine by to stretch out comfortably or participatepersonnel. stretching out on the platforms for a few in mild exercises. “You have a lot of minutes” (p. 219-220).In Cranz’s ideal office space she postural options for working in this office.considers features that appeal to the You can stand to lay out research data, Ergonomic furniture and exercisebody’s senses—hearing, sight, smell and articles, or slides. You can stand or squat equipment are considered for multipletemperature—with music, windows, fresh in front of files to use them. Floor-to- working positions, play and mild exercise.smells and moderate temperatures. ceiling bookshelves allow you to stretch Such furniture and equipment would“When you open the door, a Mozart up or squat down. You can prop books accommodate those who want to takeviolin concerto comes over the sound open on an eye-level-slanted shelf quick breaks, stretch and tone their 2
  • Introductionbodies, or energize themselves at work. natural environment and other species After reading Cranz’s enlightening“If you were a newcomer, the thing in (Kellert, et al., 1993). Outdoor space and innovative thoughts on her idealthe office that might make you most in workplaces can also be used by workspace, I cannot help but desirecurious is related to exercise: a large personnel for breaking and exercise. the same type of work environment forinflated ball over which staff members “You notice a set of French doors that myself and others.occasionally draped themselves to lead onto a wooden deck or balcony,promote flexibility of the spine. Some vine-covered. Down the steps is a poolsit on it in lieu of a stool. It also keeps or fountain. Sometimes people assumechildren entertained when they visit. You the rest position on the deck or exercisemight be equally intrigued by a cluster or eat or talk on the phone. Insideof three rings of Opsvik pedestals that and outside are not that different—asupport a variety of standing postures. Modernist’s dream” (p. 220).An overhead bar for hanging and an “But this vision need not remain ainverter offer other opportunities to dream. Running throughout this study ofstretch your spine” (p. 220). the chair has been a call to action. First,Access to the natural outdoors and honor your body; learn how to attendnatural elements such as balconies to it, and educate it to communicateor water features support peoples’ with our culture. From this, developinnate desire to be affiliated with the your own ideal environments (p. 221).
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseProblem Statement “Probably the single most important principle of body-conscious design is to use design to keep posture varied and the body moving.” (Cranz, 1998, p. 185) In our Information Age, affluent or hand-written messages, people send widespread computer technology, itpeople all over the world adapt to emails or make phone calls. Telephones seems some people have forgottencomputer technology. Computers are mini-computers; they are even their bodies. People cram informationare ubiquitous, in our pockets, purses, replacing desktops and laptops. With into their brains, an important andoffices, homes, schools, cars. People use new stresses and cultural changes due complicated organ; but many peoplecomputers as encyclopedias, replacing to demands of computer technology, neglect their muscles in today’s age ofbooks with computer monitors, key our workplaces evolve. People should Information Technology. With informationboards, mice, and hard drives. Not only not have to adapt to technology, and computer-technology demandsdo computers replace books, but they technology should adapt to and for in the workplace, employees andhave also taken the place of physical people. employers spend more time sitting atactivity—and human communication. computers, reading display screens, With rapid implementation ofRather than physically delivering verbal going digital, taking work with them on “Something, somewherewent terribly wrong” imageby an unknown artist (NeatoShop, 2011) 4
  • Problem StatementIntroductiontaking work with them on mobile (Clements-Croome, 2006). more positive, energized, motivateddevices. Such demands can be stressful and more productive. This is analogous Many people accept what space,and harmful for the body and mind; to the argument for evidence-based environment, furniture and equipmenthowever, relief can be found. Such design practices for health and healing they are given to work with withoutthings as: freedom to move between environments; patients heal faster and question. “It is what I am used to,” “It isone social phase and another (from hospitals have higher turnover rates what I have always done,” are commonsolitary work to group interaction), music, when hospital design caters to patient responses of people asked about whyopportunities to engage in spontaneous desires and experience. Workplaces they do what they do. Why must wesocial encounters, opportunity to should perhaps design according to and accommodate ourselves to poorlyengage in creativity, self-expression cater to worker desires and experiences. configured furniture, uncomfortableand exploration, appealing visual Cranz and I believe this is what most working positions and environments?environments, exercise, space for body many work environments need. After all, I hope to improve these conditions. Ifmovements such as exercise stretching most working people spend the majority people had opportunities to question,and a variety of working positions, of their days at work. opportunities to request healthierfurniture and equipment, personal choices, body—conscious and mind-accessories, plant life and association conscious work environments designedwith other species, access to outdoor for movement, multiple working positionsenvironments, and sensory variability and worker preferences, perhapscan provide relief from everyday people would be happier, healthier,stresses and demands in the workplace Steelcase image from Movement Toward Health in the Workplace booklet
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseAssumption There is a disconnect between humans and our immediate environments (Gallagher, 1993). This research study proposes the Patil, 2009; Levine, 2009; Sternberg, pertain to emotional, social and physicalassumption that employees and 2009; Oseland, 2009; Congleton, 2010; well-being: biophilia, ergonomics,employers desire mobility and resources International Ergonomics Association, and exercise. This thesis suggests thatin the workplace that support holistic 2010; Higgs & Pynt, 2010). Perhaps biophilia, ergonomics, and exercise arehealth practices involving biophilia, employees and employers will feel factors that contribute to holistic healthergonomics and exercise. These factors healthier emotionally, socially and in the workplace.have been found to be contributors to physically in environments with accesswell-being and productivity (Gallagher, to natural environments, the outdoors,1993; Tesitel, et al., 1993; Nelson, 1993; and spaces that take ergonomics andWaikar & Bradshaw, 1995; Cranz, 1998; exercise into consideration. HolisticMcDonough & Braungart, 2002; Diener, health factors considered for purposesKing & Lyubomirsky, 2005; Grinde & of this research study are factors thatSteelcase image from MovementToward Health in the Workplacebooklet 6
  • Significance If we do not provide comfortable environments that fulfill base human needs (emotional, social and physical health) then the building occupants are unlikely to be at their most productive (Oseland,1995, p.246). Studies of biophilia, ergonomics productivity and limit body aches and currently involved in implementing andand exercise have been conducted; pains and health costs, and exercise enforcing holistic health practices intohowever, studies of such specific health stimulates the mind and body, increasing the workplace (Congleton, 2010). Forfactors implemented and incentivized in productivity. example, as found on their website,small US workplaces as well as employer PepsiCo began implementing global This research uncovered workplaces inand employee values and personal workplace wellness programs to North America that offer such amenitiesopinions associated with such factors promote health and wellness for their and related incentives. Pixar, IBM,have not been explored in depth. associates in 2004, called HealthRoads™, PepsiCo, Chase, Johnson and Johnson,Research on biophilia supports the idea a part of their Sustainability Vision. This Glaxo-Smithkline, Wheeler Interests, IBM,that interaction with other species can program helps participating associates Coors Brewing Co., and Walt Disney healing, ergonomic body-conscious of PepsiCo make informed decisions are a few of the larger US companiesfurniture and equipment increase regarding healthcare as well as develop
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exerciseand sustain healthy behaviors with In growing popular efforts to increase (2) The use of effective worksite policiesmotivational incentives. Such behavioral worker health, productivity and and programs can reduce health riskschanges involving HealthRoads™ happiness, it makes sense to incorporate and improve the quality of life for the 135primary focuses on diet, exercise and incentives and programs supporting million full-time and part-time workers innutrition reduce health risks. Participants holistic health into work environments. the United States.are encouraged to seek preventative At the 2010 National Ergonomics (3) Workers spend more than one-thirdcare and work one-on-one with wellness Conference, Jerome, J. Congleton, PhD, of their day on the job and, as a result,coaches to manage existing health spoke of the Healthy Workforce Act of employers are in a unique position toconditions. Tracking their wellness 2009. Although “A resolution affirming promote the health and safety of theirefforts, PepsiCo found that their wellness the importance of exercise and physical employees.initiatives have slowed the rate of activity as key components of a healthyincreased medical costs; for every dollar lifestyle, including in combating obesity, (4) Chronic diseases such as heartspent on workplace wellness during reducing chronic disease, and lowering disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, and2007, they saved approximately $3.45 health care costs” was introduced and diabetes are among the most prevalenton healthcare, reducing healthcare passed by Senate Mary 9, 2011, the and costly worker health problems forcosts for PepsiCo and associates. In Healthy Workforce Act of 2009 did not most employers.2009, PepsiCo’s HealthRoads™ program become law after being introducedreceived external recognition with a in April of 2009 (GovTrack). It is a bill to (5) The use by employers of effectivePlatinum award for Best Employers for amend the Internal Revenue Code of worksite policies and programs canHealthy Lifestyles. Many workplaces 1986 to provide tax credit to employees reduce health risks and improve theimplementing and enforcing holistic for the costs of implementing wellness quality of life for their practices are larger companies, programs offering health promotion and (6) The good health of workers is goodwhile many smaller companies preventative care (GovTrack.). It was for business because healthier workersare unaware or lack the means to proposed that a fifty percent tax credit miss less work, are more productive, andimplement such practices in their work for the costs of providing employees have lower health care costs.environments. As literature review will with a qualified wellness programshow, many researchers argue that such would be granted to employers. A Congress said it. People spend much ofamenities and opportunities contribute “qualified wellness program” is defined their lives at work, therefore; it is smart toto well-being as well as productive as a program certified by the Secretary begin and influence the implementationsperformance and overall success and of Health and Human Services and of healthy practices and lifestyles inhappiness for employees, employers and consists of a health awareness and workplaces. This research employs acompanies involved. Medical doctors, education component, a behavioral subjective approach to draw attentiondesigners, neuroscientists, even t-shirts change component, and a supportive to the workspace desires of employeesand tea bags support arguments for environment component. In the Healthy and employers. Many people adapt toholistic health in the workplace. Workforce Act of 2009, Congress stated their work conditions and environments its findings about the US workforce (Open rather than question existing policiesThe US Department of Labor, Congress, 2011): and conditions about their and others’Employment Standards Administration personal well-being.promotes labor rights and employment (1) The US has more than 12 millionstandards with the objective of employers and approximately 135 millionfostering economic and social equity working adults.for personnel health and well-being. 8
  • Scope “Past research has identified many factors, such as demographic, task-related, workstation-related, ergonomic, and psychosocial factors, associated with health complaints of employees engaged in sedentary work.” (Waikar & Bradshaw, 1995, p.18) In an attempt to advocate body- thesis study involve detailed elements of collected using a subjective measureconscious design, health and healing each factor—biophilia, ergonomics, and of self report by participants throughwork environments, this research study exercise. surveys and interviews. Observationsof holistic health in the workplace identified existing elements linked to Health, happiness, productivity,explores emotional, social and physical the specific health factors, biophilia, motivation, and work performancewell-being in small work environments ergonomics, and exercise, such as of participants and offices were notthrough investigation of existing, lack of windows, plants, participant behaviors measured with external measurementsand desires for holistic health factors in and workstations that existed or were in this research study. Only milesfour small North American offices that taking place in participating workplaces. walked were measured externally withare between 1000 and 4000 square feet Comparison of participant opinions in pedometers. Measurements of holisticand employ three to twelve employees. surveys and interviews to observations health factors in the workplace wereSpecific areas of concentration for this and pedometer readings enhanced Primary areas of concentration for thesis study: conceptual framework exploring relationships of the factors: biophilia, ergonomics and exercise, and how they contribute to holistic health within the workplace
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exerciseidentification of holistic health factors elements of biophilia, ergonomics andand elements of such factors, providing exercise are actually human needs.transparency of inconsistencies within Although biophilia, ergonomics andcollected data. exercise constitute the basic human needs of emotional health, social healthFurthermore, it is important to note that and physical health; and they can beparticipants’ desires were recorded, not categorized into Abraham Maslow’snecessarily needs. To be clear, a goal Hierarchy of Needs (1943), such as senseof this research study was to acquire of belonging and self-actualization,personal opinions regarding participants’ this research study does not claim suchdesires for elements of the primary desires as needs (Maslow’s Hierarchy ofhealth factors: biophilia, ergonomics Needs is discussed further in literatureand exercise, in their workplaces through review). Further rigorous researchsubjective measures of self report. can determine whether elements ofSurveys and interviews were primarily the holistic health factors, biophilia,analyzed to determine participants’ ergonomics and exercise, are deemeddesires in relation to the health factors of as human needs.this research study. Some environmentalpsychologists, biologists and otherresearchers may claim these desires ofElements of holistic healthfactors: biophilia, ergonomicsand exercise 10
  • Review of Literature Introduction Numerous literature on topics of Television shows like Rupert Bear relieve stress and have positive effectshealth, holistic health, emotional health, send positive messages to children, such on physical and psychological health, psychological health as when Rupert was outside enjoying Grinde and Patil (2009) share findingsand ergonomics exist. This literature a picnic with his Professor; his Professor of Richard Louv who uses the termreview attempts to share an assortment said: “Fresh air, sunshine and exercise… “nature-deficit” and suggests that “theof information of topics related to this ahh…there’s nothing like it!” (Rupert increase in prevalences of conditionsresearch study’s focus, holistic health in Bear, 1920). Documentaries explicating such as obesity, attention disorders, andworkplaces. Holistic health encompasses poor health practices, such as Super depression is partly due to a decreasea person’s overall health. When a Size me, Food Inc, and The Corporation, in the degree children are exposedperson’s overall health is considered, any and TV shows like The Biggest Loser, to Nature” (p. 2338). Dr. Brown (2009)factors which contribute to a person’s are quite popular today. People are argues that play is beneficial in our lives,well-being are taken into account. expressing concerns for their well-being. “actually making us more productiveAll aspects of people’s needs can be Positive changes in the home and office and happier in everything we do” (p. 7).organized into cognitive, social and in support of health and well-being Dr. Brown talks not just about children atphysical needs; these needs contribute are occurring slowly. Some high school play, he talks about everyone. Adults areto the whole of a person. Although physical fitness education programs grown children. We all need play time,alternative medicine also considers are being enforced with more rigor motivation, and stimulation. Classroomsspiritual aspects when assessing a and seriousness as the US experiences and workplaces need to accommodateperson’s overall well-being, this research an obesity epidemic. As a child, my play time, social activities and providestudy does not attempt to include teachers repeatedly told students to stimulating work environments. “[W]spiritual health in the factors of holistic be quiet, stop fidgeting and remain hile we readily accept that a healthyhealth. Holistic health factors considered sedentary in the classroom so as to focus seed can’t grow into a plant withoutfor purposes of this research study are on our studies; but as Gallagher points right soil, light, and water, and that afactors that pertain to emotional, social out, “America’s obesity epidemic offers feral dog wont behave like a pet, weand physical well-being: biophilia, stunning illustrations of what can happen resist recognizing the importance ofergonomics, and exercise. Literature when motivation and attention become environment in our own lives” (Gallagher,review is organized into subchapters disconnected from daily behavior in 1993, p. 16). For the older and employed,addressing: small sedentary workplaces, general and each other in particular” no longer in a classroom setting, Dr.sedentary work, holistic health, biophilia, (Gallagher, 2009, p. 174). More Brown describes a popular problem,ergonomics, the chair, body and mind, interaction, team work, and play time “We strive to always be productive,exercise, environmental psychology, would enhance motivation, stimulating and if an activity doesn’t teach us skill,health and healing environments. students to find interest in their studies. make us money, or get on the boss’s Studies also suggest that nature can good side, then we feel we should
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercisenot be doing it. Sometimes the sheer students who took PE before mathdemands of daily living seem to rob us reported dramatic improvement in theirof the ability to play” (Brown, 2009, p. standardized tests” (Iskander, 2011).7). As ergonomic research studies show, As research and literature report,workplaces that demand a high level of emotional health, social health andsedentary work and deprive workers of physical health are important factors inhealthy opportunities for interaction and being fulfilled and healthy human, harm employees and employers. Together, emotional health, social healthQuality of life, blood flow, respiration, and physical health constitute healthcollaboration, injuries, and overall health on a larger scale, holistic health. Factorscan all be enhanced and improved of holistic health, then, are biophilia,when ergonomics are considered in ergonomics, and exercise, which areworkplace development, design and believed to contribute to well-being andprocesses (Congleton, December 2, productivity in the workplace. Observing2010, ErgoExpo presentation). Waikar, et and recognizing employees’ andal (1995) identified factors, such as task- employers’ perceptions of holistic healthrelated, workstation-related, ergonomic, and workplace design have implicationsand psychosocial factors, associated for a healthier workforce and healthierwith health complaints of employees working environments, productivityengaged in sedentary work. Such gains and happier personnel. Winifredhealth complaints often lead to work Gallagher (2009) claims, “Stayinglost to sick days, ergonomic assessments focused is an excellent strategy for well-and medical appointments. Medical being,” and “the skillful managementand insurance costs for employees of attention is the first step toward anyand companies rise and workers’ behavioral change and covers mostcompensation costs increase. Similarly, self-improvement approaches like a vastYerkes-Dodson Law (1908) states people umbrella” (p. 10). Focusing on healthperform better if they are stimulated or in workplaces of the more affluentmotivated (Oseland, 2009, p. 245). A consumer capitalist economies of theChicago high school, Naperville Central more prosperous populations of theHigh School, experiencing the culture planet can be a proactive effort toof fitness has embraced a daily graded enforce some basics of sustainable livingphysical education program. One group by improving quality of life and workingof struggling students at this high school conditions, providing jobs, conservinghave been involved in an innovative natural resources, enhancing economicprogram which schedules PE right before growth and managing risk.their most challenging classes. “In thesix years since that program started,students who signed up for PE directlybefore English read on average a halfyear ahead of those who didn’t, and 12
  • Review of Literature: Holistic Health Word cloud of words participants used to describe emotional health
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise Holistic Health For purposes of this study, the connections. And the emotions they relationships and overall health (Diener,factors: biophilia, ergonomics and evoke are among the greatest forces King & Lyubomirsky, 2005). Happiness,exercise, have been linked to emotional that affect our hormonal, our nerve an expression of healthy emotions, ishealth, social health and physical health, chemical, and our immune responses— factor contributing to productivity in thewhich constitute holistic health. Holistic and through these, our health and our workplace according to research ofhealth equally encompasses emotional resistance to disease” (Sternberg, 2001, Diener, King & Lyubomirsky. Researchershealth, social health and physical health. p. 133). Essentially, emotions that are have often believed that mere financialIn Dr. Sternberg’s explanations of human rooted in social relationships or mental success made people happy, but recentconnections, she connects relationships capacities can affect the health of research that examined the connectionswith spirituality, emotions, and physical the physical body. The body cannot between desirable personalitywell-being: “Our sense that powerful be improved or worsened without also characteristics, life successes and well-forces beyond our bodies link us to others affecting the mind, and vice versa. being in over 275,000 people revealedis so ingrained that we use phrases such that “happy individuals are predisposed Emotional health has beenas “ties that bind,” “family ties,” and to seek out and undertake new goals in found to contribute to work success,“bonding,” to describe those intangible life and this reinforces positive emotions”Holistic health image derivedfrom Steelcase’s physical healthimage from Movement TowardHealth in the Workplace booklet 14
  • Review of Literature: Holistic Health Word cloud of words participants used to describe social health
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise(p. 803). Goleman states that “emotions include air, food, water, sleep, sex; then of humankind.are contagious” (2006, p. 13). If emotions security of environment, employment, “Past research has identified manyare contagious, and happiness is a resources, health, property; then factors, such as demographic, task-socially contagious emotion, emotional love, friendship, intimacy, family; then related, workstation-related, ergonomic,health and social health are connected. confidence, self-esteem, achievement, and psychosocial factors, associated respect. The higher-order needs consistAbraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with health complaints of employees of morality, creativity and problema motivational theory of psychology that engaged in sedentary work” (Waikar solving. Although there is a range ofrepresents a model of human-centered & Bradshaw, 1995, p.18). Gallagher interpretation about how much eachmotivation based on goals, suggests that (1993) states that there is a disconnect of the lower order needs must bepeople have five tiers of needs in order between humans and our immediate satisfied prior to the ability to developto grow into the ultimate person they are environments. Our immediate the capacity of self-realization, humancapable of being (Maslow, 1943). These environments—home environments, work needs consist of emotional, social andfive needs consist of physiological needs, environments and larger urban systems— physical needs. Based on Maslow’ssafety needs, love needs, esteem needs affect us socially and physically, even Hierarchy of Needs, one can say thatand the need for self-actualization. biologically, as where biophilia is workplaces catering to well-being ofThe first four lower need to be satisfied concerned (Dugdill, 2000). Whether personnel take aspects of emotional,before higher-order needs can influence or not these immediate environments social health and physical health intobehavior; hence the hierarchy of this provide space and activities for social consideration—essentially the body andmodel of needs. The lower levels needs and physical activities, our overall well- mind, as they are quite naturally prioritiesSteelcase social health imagefrom Movement Toward Healthin the Workplace booklet 16
  • Review of Literature: Holistic Health Word cloud of words participants used to describe physical health
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercisebeing is affected. cognitive health, one may be able to • Work tools that come to you and function more efficiently, pleaseantly, are easily adjustable.”Steelcase promotes holistic health with a comfortably.balance of cognitive, social and physical • “Seating that is easily adjustablewell-being through its “movement “Social Checklist”: and made to fit you, not the other waytoward wellness in the workplace” around.” • “Provide a variety of collaborativedesign guides. Printed in the Details spaces.” A work environment that demands orbooklet by Steelcase Inc. (2009) is a provides more space and opportunities“Physical Checklist” as well as cognitive • “Offer collaborative solutions that simply for more body movementand social checklists that can also be work for longer periods of time, keeping promotes physical health. Even movingfound by visiting Steelcase’s website. workers refreshed.” around a little bit more on a daily basis “Cognitive Checklist”: can help maintain healthy body weight • “Train workers to use the and burn calories (Levine & Yeager, ergonomic features of their work • “Work areas that provide sufficient 2009). A healthy body helps a health environment.”lighting.” mind. Research has found that exercise • “Encourage health with employee stimulates the mind and body, increasing • “Provide a variety of solutions for wellness.” productivity.privacy and interaction.” A work environment that encourages Through literature review, previous • “Address information processing freedom and creativity for personnel research studies, a workplace aimingand storage needs of diverse jobs.” welcomes confidence, inspirations and for overall personnel well-being supports • “Work tools that allow you innovation. Emotionally, personnel are cognitive (mental and emotional),to organize your information to affected by their social relationships; social and physical health for a balanceaccommodate the way you work.” and as the mind affects the body and of holistic health. Through workplace vice versa, contributors to social and planning and design, the incorporation • “Workstation that promote emotional health should be considered of elements of biophilia, ergonomics andmovement, keeping users energized.” even in workplace design in order to exercise may help contribute to overall achieve ultimate well-being. Spaces that well-being, as elements of these factorsA work environment that takes into promote collaboration and spontaneus are directly related to cognitive health,considerations elements of ergonomics interaction amongst personnel social health and physical health.such as lighting, space, furniture and accomodate aspects of social so that one can work moreefficiently and productively addresses “Physical Checklist”:cognitive health. As the body is affectedby the mind and the mind is affected • “Seating that allows dynamicby the body, bodily discomfort can movement and postural change.”trigger mental or emotioanl frustrations. • Workstations that allow you toResearch has found ergonomic body- work while you stand.”conscious furniture and equipment toincrease productivity and limit body • Seating that keeps you oriented toaches and pains and health costs. With your work.”such accomodations designed for 18
  • Review of Literature: Biophilia Biophilia Evolutionary psychology is a newer and illuminated regardless of season or (p. 406). Biophilia became a popularscience that argues that “innate human time of the day—although even on a term when Edward O. Wilson publishedbehaviour is governed by adaptations rainy morning, it is brighter outside than Biophilia: The Human Bond with Otherof psychological processes which inside with the lights on” (Gallagher, Species, in 1984. Wilson defined biophiliaevolved to aid our survival and well- 1993, p. 12). Evolutionary psychologists as “the innate tendency to focus onbeing” (Oseland, 2009, p. 250). As a argue that “people feel refreshed sitting life and lifelike processes” (Wilson,result of human’s innate predispositions in a natural environment because 1984, Prologue). To Wilson, it seemedfor survival and well-being, people are nature provides a setting for “non-taxing unquestionable that human beingssocial, needing a sense of community involuntary attention” (Oseland, 2009, have an innate sensitivity to and needand belonging, human sense of direction p. 250). As evolutionary psychologists for other living things, because we haveis based on natural clues such as the argue for innate tendencies to be coexisted in the closest relationshipsun and landmarks, and people want to affiliated with other species and natural with the natural world for so manyexplore what is around them, with clear environments, biophilia is a key theme millennia. According to Wilson, it isviews in all directions. “Only a hundred within evolutionary psychology. To some, ultimately human nature and a geneticyears ago, the overwhelming majority “nature” means plants as in gardens, predisposition, hereditary desire to haveof Americans lived in the country, while forests and parks, but weather and an emotional affiliation with humantoday, most cluster in metropolitan animals (humans included) are also beings and other living organisms (Kellert,areas” (Gallagher, 1993, p. 13). directly connected. Although not may et al., 1993, p. 31). Because elements ofClassrooms teach us that humans, similar studies on the topic of biophilia address biophilia (or lack of) constitute peoples’to other living species, have evolved human preferences for affiliations with physical and social environments,over millions of years responding to earth animals, one study by Tesitel et al. elements of biophilia affect peoples’and sun cycles. Such cycles produced (2001) found that of a community of social health and emotional health. Forpredictable biochemical and behavior approximately six-hundred families in example, a lack of plants or animals maychanges. “Environmentally minded Czech Republic, almost twenty-five weaken one’s emotional, or similarly,scientists have begun to question the percent claimed their pets to be family cognitive health. Grinde and Patil (2009)trade-offs we unwittingly make in order members. These pets consist of mainly report that even though some peopleto live sealed up inside an artificially dogs, budgies, fish, hamsters, turtles, do not express any interest in plantsheated, cooled, and lighted world that guinea pigs, cats and snakes. and nature, the absence of nature canis structured around economic rather actually have a negative effect on them The term biophilia was first coined bythan biologic concerns” (Gallagher, (p. 2339). Although some people may Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human1993, p. 13). Gallagher reminds us that suffer from biophobia, a fear of nature Destructiveness (1973). Fromm definedthe Industrial Revolution brought people and other living species, studies report biophilia as “the passionate love of lifeindoors. “Turning away from the natural that the absence of greenery can be and of all that is alive; it is the wish toworld, huge populations gravitated a stress factor, whether the absence further growth, whether in a person,toward a very different one made up of of greenery is noticed consciously or a plant, an idea, or a social group”homes and workplaces that were warm without thinking; “the presence of plants
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercisecan impact on the human mind” sun (Gallagher, 1993, p. 12). Gallagher(Grinde & Patil, 2009, p. 2338). notes the startling disconnect in current science studies and theories of theBesides the necessary conversion of sun. “…in the West, exposure to thecarbon dioxide into oxygen, biological sun’s bright light has become erraticplants offer growth, life, change, value, in duration and timing for the first timeaesthetic qualities, emotional benefit, in history, and they [environmentallyand health and healing properties to minded scientists] suspect that the facthumans and other living organisms. that most of us are no longer wakenedWilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis associates by the dawn, drawn outdoors for muchour fondness of and desires for plants of the day by our way of life, and lulledwith our innate desire and genetic to sleep by darkness helps explain whypredisposition towards plants for means up to a third of us suffer from sleep orof survival, food and shelter. “For the mood problems, or both” (Gallagher,indefinite future more children and 1993, p. 14). Hundreds of years agoadults will continue, as they do now, the idea that light affects mental andto visit zoos than attend all major physical health was a widely acceptedprofessional sports combined (at principle. This more recent observationleast this is so in the United States and made by environmentally mindedCanada), the wealthy will continue scientists suggests, as Gallagher puts it,to seek dwellings on prominences that “science forgot about it”, a widelyabove water amidst parkland, and accepted belief many years ago.urban dwellers will go on dreaming ofsnakes for reasons they cannot explain” Despite intuitive thoughts on the(Kellert, et al., 1993, p. 32). benefits of affiliations with nature, an increasing number of studiesIn the second century A.D., Aretaeus report findings that nature providesprescribed for people suffering from psychological and physical healthlethargy to lay in the sunlight because benefits. Grinde and Patil (2009)their disease was gloom (Gallagher, share reports of health benefits from1993, p. 12). The four humors, or body association with nature experiences,fluids, according to Aretaeus: yellow true wilderness experiences,bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood, neighborhood parks, gardens, andwere said to determine everything from natural features around residences:a person’s constitution to his character. nature reduces stress; improvesThese four body fluids were said to attention, by having a positive effectcorrespond to the four elements of on mental restoration and by copingfire, earth, water, and air, and were with attention deficits; and increasesalso related to summer, fall, winter, longevity (p. 2335).and spring; therefore, an individual’sphysiological and behavioral changes William McDonough and Michaelcould be viewed in the context of the Braungart designed an “eco-effective” 20
  • Review of Literature: BiophiliaIntroductionfactory for Herman Miller that brought not the object of focus (Grinde & Patil,together visions of “a life-centered 2009, p. 2335). Velarde et al. assertcommunity and environment” that a lack of city green spaces or(McDonough & Braungart, 2002, p. unmanaged green spaces can cause75). This factory noticed “dramatic increased anxiety that increases theproductivity gains,” which analyses incidence of crime (p. 2339). Expressingconfirmed were a result of one factor, a growing problem in the United Statesbiophilia. Retention rates were noted as in the 70’s, Scuhmacher noted that,“impressive” and employees who left “Modern man does not experiencethe factory for higher paid jobs returned himself as a part of nature but as anstating they could not work “in the dark” outside force destined to dominate(p. 75-76). Their goal of the design was and conquer it” (Schumacher, 1973, “give workers the feeling that they’d 14). Some propose that love, an aspectspent the day outdoors, unlike workers in of biophilia, will cure this disconnectthe conventional factory of the Industrial between man and nature as well as cureRevolution, who might not see daylight mankind of other worldwide problems,until the weekend” (p. 75). McDonough even health problems in the workplace.and Braungart succeeded in designing “The human need for nature is linked notan ideal work environment for industry just to the material exploitation of theworkers: “We designed the factory environment but also to the influencearound a tree-lined interior conceived of the natural world on our emotional,as a brightly day lit street that ran the cognitive, aesthetic, and even spiritualentire length of the building. There are development” (Nelson, 1993, p. 42).rooftop skylights everywhere the workersare stationed, and the manufacturingspace offers views of both the internalstreet and the outdoors, so that evenas they work indoors, employees get toparticipate in the cycles of the day andthe seasons” (p. 75).A study (Tesitel, et al., 1993) of theabsence of natural components inan urban environment found that theabsence of parks and landscapedcommunity areas limited the ‘pleasantexperience’ of people living in the area.“The absence of plants may suggest an“unnatural”, and thus potentially unsafe,environment;” as plants may affectthe human mind through unconsciousmechanisms, even when plants are
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise Ergonomics The International Ergonomics turnover and costs” (ErgoExpo, 2010.) weight of users. It is recommended thatAssociation states that “ergonomics armrests be provided for obese people Ergonomists actively analyze human-promotes a holistic approach in which as well as for elderly. Taller chairs are system interactions and the design of theconsiderations of physical, cognitive, easier to exit for older people. system in order to optimize human well-social, organizational, environmental being and overall system performance With concerns for the growing obesityand other relevant factors are taken (IEA, 2011). Ergonomics has implications epidemic in the US, Dr. Congleton reportsinto account” (IEA, 2010, para. 4). for all physical aspects of the workplace: that thirty-five percent of adults in the USErgonomics is a broad discipline furniture, lighting, noise, temperature, are overweight and twenty-six percentincluding occupation health. It is now movement, tools, equipment, machinery, are obese. Obesity is clinically definedapplied to office workstations after devices, and of course people; people as thirty pounds overweight (Levine,first being applied to cockpit design and their physical, psychological and 2009, p. 43). Considering the health risksduring World War II, and then factory social health. A common practice within that come with obesity and the costs ofproduction facilities (Cranz, 1998, p. ergonomics is taking anthropometric such diseases and illnesses, introducing97). “The term “ergonomics” comes design into consideration, such as more movement into the workplacefrom the Greek ergon, meaning “work,” the idea of accommodating the is a preventative measure, similar toand –omics, meaning “to manage.” extreme dimensions and activities of a traditional Chinese healing practices thatThus, ergonomics is the study of the population; because, when equipment use proactive approaches working torelationship between the person and the is designed for the dimensions of an prevent illness. Ergonomists recommendimmediate environment (Cranz, 1998, average person, most users are limited. that personnel sit when they are tiredp. 97). The International Ergonomics By designing for the tallest and the and stand for twenty minutes, threeAssociation Council defined ergonomics shortest percentiles of a user population; to six times per day. Standing deliversin August 2000. Their official definition it is easier for most users to adjust furniture health benefits. Sit-stand workstationsof ergonomics is: “Ergonomics (or and equipment by raising or lowering and workstations like Steelcase’shuman factors) is the scientific discipline for others. If a door knob were placed Walkstation that provide opportunitiesconcerned with the understanding of at average height, a child or a midget and equipment for exercise (Steelcaseinteractions among humans and other would be excluded from its use. General OfficeScapes) offer many benefits toelements of a system, and the profession rules are to design leg clearance for tall personnel working long hours at a typicalthat applies theory, principles, data and people and reach distances for smaller sedentary work station. Dr. Congletonmethods to design in order to optimize people, or better yet, accommodating notes that, depending on body shapehuman well-being and overall system users with adjustable or custom furniture and metabolism, personnel can burn 280performance” (IEA, para. 1). Dr. Jerome. and equipment. Adjustable tables allow extra calories on an average workdayJ. Congleton defines ergonomics as: vertical adjustment of workstations by standing for two hours throughout the“The study of the work to prevent and to accommodate a larger range of workday; equivalent to approximatelycontrol injury and illness while improving possible personnel heights. In addition to twenty pounds of weight lost in one year.wellness, productivity, quality, marketing, height, it is also important to consider the To do this, he recommends:customer service, delivery and reducing 22
  • Review of Literature: Ergonomicsraising desk heights from thirty to forty ideal situation would allow individuals toinches; raising the chair to stool height choose the most appropriate chair orso as to allow users to easily and freely chairs for themselves.stand up to work periodically; and Why should workers sit? Sitting causesusing a keyboard tray and monitor arm, less fatigue, comforts the knee, hipessentials if an electric height adjustable back, ankle, offers stability, assists in datadesk is not available. By working at sit- entry, allows for use of foot controls,stand-walk workstations, personnel can and accommodates meetings. burn more calories, possibly lose weight, Sit-stand workstations with adjustablerelieve pressure on spinal discs and ease keyboard platforms and monitorsphysical ailments. are recommended by Dr. CongletonWhy should people stand at work? Dr. for workplaces where personnel useJ. Congleton supports standing with computers for more than four hoursjustified reasons: standing allows for per day. GeekDesk® recommendsa wider range of motion, uses larger its product for the options of workingforces, promotes blood flow and sitting and standing at the same desk;postural changes, better respiration and it is electrically operated. They claimreaction alertness, burns more calories, this electric desk adjusts working heightand lowers pressure in low back discs. from sitting to standing (or anywhereWhen we sit, pressure on some spinal in between) at the touch of a button,discs increases thirty percent compared increases productivity, supports a varietyto when we are standing (Cranz, 1998, of positions, reduces back & neck pain,p. 97). Dr. James A. Levine, an obesity helps people feel better and focusedspecialist at the Mayo Clinic, notes stay more easily (GeekDesk, 2011). Thethat, compared to sitting, one can burn sit-stand workstations are recommendedthree times as many calories an hour by Dr. Congelton for personnel whostanding; (Levine, 2009, p. 43). “If sitting are tied to their work areas by phoneis the problem, standing is the answer” or other equipment within reach, for(p. 43). Standing is not necessarily better example, customer service, data entry,than sitting; studies show that sitting and and help desk personnel. Monitorstanding should be alternated, allowing placement for sit-stand workstationsfor movement and multiple positions. should be placed according to theDr. Congleton recommends personnel user. The top of the screen should beto sit when tired and stand when they approximately eye level with the usercan for twenty minutes, three to six and about thirty-two inches from thetimes per day. If options for sit-stand or user; the appropriate location resultsstanding workstations are not provided, in an approximate angle of twenty toother ergonomic solutions are also twenty-five degrees down from the user’spossible. A variety of sizes of chairs to eye height to the monitor screen (Dr. the varying needs of personnel Congelton, 2010).can be provided. The best and most From top: Varier® Gravity chair designed by Peter Opsvik; Le Corbusier’s lounge chair; Varier® Variable ™ Balans ®, designed by Peter Opsvik
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise The Chair Galen Cranz, in The Chair: Rethinking Seat of Your Pain May Be Your Chair. chairs” (p. 93). Linton et al. (1994) foundCulture, Body, and Design, boldly From experience, Cranz states that: that furniture design is one aspect of adescribed the history, functions, and “Improving the basic configuration of the multidimensional problem. Specifically,possible improvements of chair design conventional chair involves aligning and pupils’ attitude and behavior problemswhile addressing ergonomics and supporting the torso properly” (p. 152). were found to be associated with poormind-body relationships. She suggested Cranz explores culture, ergonomics, and ergonomic school furniture. During a“inventing an entirely new system [of mind-body relationships for the reform six month controlled experiment ofseating] to promote movement at work of the chair. Critical for recognition by testing and ergonomic assessments, theand at schools” as she argues against designers, is Cranz’s statement that: experimental group of fourth gradersthe chair (1998, p. 19). Chairs are popular “Probably the single most important who used ergonomically designeddecorative elements today, prized for principle of body-conscious design is to school furniture experienced a reductionappearance over function, resulting in use design to keep posture varied and in musculoskeletal symptoms andconcerns of the body, especially where the body moving” (p. 185). found their furniture to be significantlysedentary work is required. Dr. Jenny more comfortable than the traditional Cranz explores why stools arePynt and Joy Higgs published a book furniture used by the controlled group. uncomfortable for a majority of us. Sheon the design and history of chairs and Sitting behaviors differed only slightly believes that “we can’t sit upright simplyseating, A History of Seating, 3000 Bc in this investigation, although proper because we have grown accustomedto 2000 Ad: Function Versus Aesthetics. instructions on how to use the ergonomic to being supported by chair backs” (p.They argue that functional seating furniture correctly were provided. 95). She explains this “vicious cycle”needs to assist users for performance Although Cranz stated that ergonomic with her hypothesis: “we lean backof seated asks, enhancing rather than recommendations never completely because our muscles are weak, anddetracting from user posture and health. eliminate the damage caused by chair leaning back weakens the muscles evenAesthetic features should be taken into sitting, following such recommendations further, so that we ‘need’ support evenconsideration as well, aesthetics that would minimize health risks (p. 101-102). more” (p. 96). After collecting evidencedo not limit tasks or health. In the home, from multiple countries and cultures, Stating that no body should remainoffice, and schools, chairs need to be Cranz found that sitting is associated in one single posture for long periodsreformed for healthier postures. Our with back problems, varicose veins, of time, Cranz recommends healthierbodies were not meant to sit in positions stress, fatigue, diaphragm, circulation, chairs for human posture. Among herfor long periods of time; they need digestion, elimination, and general recommendations are: rocking chairs,movement. According to Cranz, “from body movement (p. 97). According inflatable therapy and exercise balls,a somatic point of view, chairs pose to Cranz, scientific literature on chair Le Corbusier’s lounge chair, Opsvik’smany different problems” (p. 135). The design is concerned with ergonomics; Norwegian Balans chair, also called theseated position we are accustomed, is a measures of the relationship between kneeling chair, Opsvik’s Gravity loungehealth hazard, causing back pains and work-related human activity and the chair and Mandal’s tilting stool.many other health problems. Dr. Jenny immediate environment, “which includesPynt published a book in 1998, titled The 24
  • Review of Literature: The ChairIntroductionRocking chairs often have high backs, allowing different positions that areoffering appropriate support to the acquired through shifting body weightshoulder, neck, and head (p. 184). in the chair. From a lounge chair, theBecause rocking chairs “move the Gravity converts to a conventional chairankle, knees, and hip sockets directly, and to a kneeling chair. Space is alsoand the head-neck joint and the provided for the shoulder girdle to rotateentire spine only slightly less directly,” independently of the head and spine.they are recommended by Cranz (p. The Gravity™ balans® chair is available184). Because inflatable balls found in at Varier®.physical therapy and fitness exercises Cranz praises the Norwegian Balansare unstable surfaces, they require chair, also known as the kneeling chair,users to actively use the legs and torso designed by Svein Gusrud and Peterand continuously use different muscles, Opsvik, because it improves breathingwhich can help triumph circulation and keeps the spine in its naturaland muscle fatigue problems that are curvature by forcing the thighs to drop inassociated with conventional sedentary relation to the spine, creating an obliquework positions. Dr. Mandal’s chair angle so that “the work of sitting uprightsupports perching, a position that is is distributed between the front and backbetween sitting and standing. Rather of the spine and along its length mostthan resting on the knees as Opsvik’s evenly so that sitting upright is easy, oneBalans chair requires, this perch stance doesn’t tire, and therefore one doesn’tcreates a tripod between the left and need or want back support” (1998, p.right feet and the sit bones. For this 116). An inspiration of Mandal’s forward-tripod stance, a significantly higher (than tilt seats, this chair that neither looks like aconventional chairs) forward-tilt seat is chair nor a stool, was engineered in therequired. Le Corbusier’s lounge chair is late 1970’s and exported to the Unitedrecommended by back surgeons for States in 1981 (Cranz, 1998, p. 170). Thispeople suffering from back problems, chair improves balance, circulation andbecause the chaise supports the entire oxygen levels because it builds back andback all the way up, including the abdominal muscles.shoulders, neck and head (Cranz, 1998,p. 183). The cylindrical neck, however,may require an adjustment for manyusers, as it may be too thick, claimsCranz.Peter Opsvik’s Gravity chair is anotherrecommended chair by Cranz because,as a lounge chair, it provides back,shoulder, neck and head support.Different from Corbusier’s lounge, theGravity chair involves movement,
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise Exercise Although most overweight health “physical inactivity”, is a risk factor for psychological well-being (WHO).problems result from poor nutrition and chronic diseases entirely on its own. Endocrinologist, Dr. James than lack of exercise, exercise Overall, physical inactivity is estimated Levine partnered with Steelcase tohas been known to be beneficial in to cause 1.9 million deaths globally manufacture a workstation called themaintaining health. Ideally, workplaces (WHO, 2011). On the other hand, the Walkstation that combines an adjustablewould incorporate more play, exercise World Health Organization states that sitting and standing height surface withand movement. “By actively choosing significant health benefits are related to a treadmill, operating at two miles perendeavors that demand your total regular physical activity such as walking hour at the most. Just as Rachel Carson’sfocus and skillfully using attention to and sports activities. Thirty minutes of Silent Spring shook common thought andmake even inevitable rote chores more moderate physical activity per day is ignorance and took at least a decadeengaging, you can blur the distinction recommended by the World Health to rattle change in agricultural treatmentbetween work and play—a hallmark of Organization. Regular physical activity methods and environmental policies,the focused life” (Gallagher, 2009, p. can reduce the risk of cardiovascular implementation of the Walkstation99). Aside from any other health issues, disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, into everyday workspaces that area lack of physical activity, known as help control weight, and promoteSteelcase physical health imagefrom Movement Toward Healthin the Workplace booklet 26
  • Review of Literature: Exerciseaccustomed to sedentary work may paper published in Science) that nature because they do not requiretake decades, especially in today’s quantified body postures with “NEAT the maintenance of planting, watering,slow economic recovery. Costs and underwear” lean and healthy volunteers, placement according to sunlight, orreceptiveness to new ideas are factors not “gym goers”, “simply lived their life pruning, but the extra body movementsslowing such implementations of exercise with greater movement, just the way required to retrieve a water pitcher,and movement into workplaces. nature intended” (p. 43). Technological filling up the water pitcher and watering advances have made some things the plant burn calories. Having livingDespite today’s explosion of gyms and are more convenient than they used plants to care for provide opportunitiesfitness clubs to fight obesity, Dr. Levine to be, such as driving to and from to burn more calories. Dr. Levine wouldstates that “the calories we burn behind places that are less than a mile away say watering plants is an opportunitytheir mirrored walls pale in comparison to instead of walking. Small activities like to boost one’s “NEAT”, or caloriethose we could and should be burning watering plants, walking stairs, walking burning metabolism, also known asin normal life” (Levine & Yeager, 2009, to the printer rather than printing at the “nonexercise activity thermogenesis”p. 43). Dr. Levine introduces everyday desk, and walking the long route are the US population regularly “exercises,”innovative practices for exercise at daily activities that require use of more and why half of all people who embarkwork in, Move a Little, Lose A Lot. Even energy by simply living. Interior plants on an exercise plan abandon it within sixmoving around a little bit more on a support healthy efforts towards eight weeks. We’re simply not engineered todaily basis can help maintain healthy loss and weight management. Besides live like that” (p. 5).body weight and burn calories. In one dusting, artificial plants may provideof Levine’s scientific studies (an obesity Standing rather than sitting or in a convenient green representation of Steelcase Walkstation by Details
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exerciseaddition to sitting while working is a 1996, illustrates examples of how workers environments, increased performanceway to address the issue Dr. Levine can self-treat their pain, improve posture pressure and the hopes of leaving workbrings up, therefore he designed the and prevent chronic health problems in early contribute to “killing lunchtime”Walkstation treadmill. Simply having a the office. (Steelcase, July 2006). Steelcase founddog, or children, gives people more that forty-nine percent of US workers who Waikar & Bradshaw (1995), referopportunities to walk, run, take the long participated in the Workplace Survey to Austin’s findings (1984) noting thatway, play, bend, reach, stretch, skip, Index spent their lunch hour working with “physical exercise has the potential toand spend more time outdoors. These colleagues, working during lunch and reduce work-related musculoskeletalsimple activities support one’s health; even eating at their desks. Other popular stress” (Waikar & Bradshaw, 1995, p. 16).specifically through the factors of lunchtime activities include Internet Waikar and Bradshaw studied businessesbiophilia, ergonomics and exercise with shopping, reading, making phone calls, that provided formal exercise programsaccess to and affiliations with nature, running errands, exercising and even (or not), the willingness of personnel tospace, body-conscious activities and dating. Steelcase found in 2006 that the participate in formal exercise programs,equipment. US lunch hour dropped to about half an and employees’ preferences for features hour and women are more likely to take Lack of exercise, smoking and poor of an exercise program. They concluded shorter lunches than pose major risk factors for diseases that ninety-seven percent of participantssuch as cancer, heart disease and indicated that their employer did notdiabetes. Due to higher health costs have a formal exercise program (p. 23).and sick days associated with people Of that ninety-seven percent, sixty-ninewho are overweight and therefore not percent responded that they wouldas healthy as physically fit and healthy be willing to participate in a formalpeople, workplaces are more likely exercise program if one were offered byto hire and retain physically fit and their company (p. 24). Dr. Levine notes,healthy employees; their health costs however, that a recent poll of more thanare typically lower and they require one thousand mend an women foundfewer sick days from work. It would that “only 29 percent of American’stherefore be beneficial for personnel current favorite pastimes involve anyif workplaces provided space, time, physical activity, down more than a thirdopportunities, equipment and incentives from ten years ago” (Levine, 2009, p. 17).for physical fitness actually within Clearly, the way people actually behaveworkplaces. “Since we spend the is not always consistent with how theymajority of our waking hours at work, report their behavior. “Past favorites suchour loss of NEAT [“nonexercise activity as swimming, walking, and gardeningthermogenesis” or the energy one have slipped from favor. Fishing andburns simply living life] at the workplace bowling are becoming quaint activitieshas had the most profound effect on from bygone days,” reports Dr. Levineour energy expenditure,” possibly also (p. 17).limiting motivation and productivity Steelcase’s 360 article on the topiclevels (Levine, 2009, p. 16). Simple desk of workplace lunch breaks addressesexercises such as those listed in Dr. Jenny the concern that changing workPynt’s book Desk Exercises published in 28
  • Review of Literature: Environmental PsychologyIntroduction Environmental Psychology Because emotions such as lives” (p. 16). Boyden (1971) distinguished Healing spaces, rooted in environmentalhappiness affect motivation levels, needs for survival from needs for well- psychology, now have a scientificproductivity and success, living in being. Well-being needs consist of basis. “Our decisions about where toenvironments that create and sustain physiological, psychological and social live or work can have significant if oftenhappiness for individuals can support needs which can be addressed in interior unsuspected impact on our well-being,work performance. It is valuable to design: meaningful change and sensory whether through subtle means, suchconsider location, macro and micro variability; opportunity to engage in a as lighting and plants, or more directly,environments when relocating, choosing full range of species typical behaviors through agents such as allergens ora school, a workplace, building, and (creativity, self-expression, cooperation, pollutants” (Gallagher, 1993, p. 19)designing. “Past research has identified exploration); opportunity to engagemany factors, such as demographic, in spontaneous social encounters; antask-related, workstation-related, interesting visual environment; noiseergonomic, and psychosocial factors, levels not much above or below thatassociated with health complains of in nature; freedom to move betweenemployees engaged in sedentary one social phase and another (fromwork” (Waikar & Bradshaw, 1995, p. 18). solitary work to group interaction);The physical environment surrounding and opportunity for regular exercisepeople affects their performance and (Clements-Croome, 2006).health. Gallagher states: “Now modern Gallagher and Sternberg proposescience is confirming that our actions, that people live in environments thatthoughts, and feelings are indeed support their well-being, whether ashaped not just by our genes and city location, beach or farm locationneurochemistry, history and relationships, is healthier depends on the person, abut also by our surroundings” (Gallagher, person’s experiences, emotions, mind.1993, p. 12). Just like the simplest of “Hofer points to the migrations of themicroorganisms, humans depend on tiny typhoid bacillus: in order to live, ittheir environmental interactions for must swim to a place rich in the nutrientsurvival (p. 15). Concerned for the it wants, stop, and remain there, findingdisconnect between humans and our its way by the reactions of receptorsimmediate environments, Gallagher on its cell membrane to chemicals thatstates that “While we readily accept that send it into different states” (p. 15). Justa healthy seed can’t grow into a plant in 1984, the first study to test the ideawithout the right soil, light, and water, that physical space might contributeand that a feral dog wont behave to healing was published in Sciencelike a pet, we resist recognizing the magazine (Sternberg, 2009, p. 1-2).importance of environment in our own
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise Health and Healing Environments Earlier schools of thought and beauty of flowers and plants surely pleasure. Put in more mechanistic terms,believed external environments to rattle our human instincts. “Evolutionary they play upon the circuitry of the brain’sbe determinants of mental health, biologists believe that in many creatures limbic system in a way that ultimatelyrather than simply individuals’ internal beauty is a reliable indicator of health, promotes survival and reproduction” (p.processes, which most of today’s and therefore a perfectly sensible way 61). An annual meeting of the Americanpsychological health emphasizes to choose one mate over another” Psychological Association discussed(Gallagher, 1993, p. 15). In classical (Pollan, 2002, p. 74). Beauty is of instinct, a study analyzing the ways in whichtimes, temples to the Greek god of naturally attractive to humans because lively and dull interiors affect moodhealing (Asclepius) “were built far from it symbolizes health. Wilson (1984) and performance. “When the subjects’towns, high up on hilltops overlooking the states: “Mathematics and beauty are responded to a stimulating, plant-filled,sea” (Sternberg, 2009, p. 3). For years, devices by which human beings get homey setting and a grim, institutionalhospital guests have given flowers and through life with the limited intellectual one were contrasted, the only reactionplants to friends and family suffering with capacity inherited by the species. Like a they all shared was a decline in vigoroushealth issues in an attempt to promote discerning palate and sexual appetite, activity and increased feelings of fatiguehealth and healing. The vibrant colors these esthetic contrivances give in the austere environment” (Gallagher, 30
  • Review of Literature: Health & Healing EnvironmentsIntroduction1993, p. 17). connection is an assumption that ensure the workspaces on offer are physical places that set the mind at ease made available to all (p. 251).“More than two thousand years ago, can contribute to well-being, and thoseHippocrates’ observation that our With innovative efforts to create healthy that trouble the emotions might fosterwell-being is affected by our settings workplace design, Steelcase provides illness” (p. 10). Oseland (2009) states thatwas established as a cornerstone of surveys on their website that can be used “design implications for evolutionaryWestern medicine” (Gallagher, 1993, p. by workplaces to help them gain insight psychology are self-explanatory, but12). Health and healing environments, into employee desires and opinions nevertheless many offices fail to meetsuch as hospitals, medical clinics, and of their work environments. Gallagher these basic psychological needs:doctors’ offices, incorporate artificial states that in today’s rapid paced worldplants and representations of nature. • provide a variety of spaces that of information technology, “we mustFor example, NatureMaker’s Steel allow people to gather, preferably with put the principles emerging from theArt Trees support healing processes food and drink (“watering holes”) made multidisciplinary science of places intoby softening environments that available; practice on local and global levels” tomay potentially appear bleak and secure environmental quality (Gallagher, • offer a stimulating and interestinguninviting (NatureMaker). Views, color, 1993, p. 19). environment and allow us to movetemperature, light, plants, smells and around and explore rather than stayother factors have been documented working in one place;as elements that affect peoplepsychologically, influencing positive or • create places which offer quieternegative emotions, levels of motivation environments away from colleagues toand hunger. These elements are also concentrate or just contemplate;considered in human factors. Oselandargues that poor working conditions can • design facades which offer viewslead to dissatisfaction and therefore out and good daylight ingress thatreduced performance and interprets will meet biophilia needs as will goodMaslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into: landscaping externally and planting“if we do not provide comfortable internally;environments that fulfill base human • ideally, provide natural ventilationneeds then, regardless of rewards, the and the control of internal temperatures,building occupants are unlikely to be at or failing that good fresh air ventilationtheir most productive” (1995, p. 246). and the option to work in locations of aAs with Planetree’s patient-centered different temperature;and evidence based approaches • plan desks to offer views acrossto healthcare design, healthcare the office and to the outside withoutenvironments today use patient- the occupier feeling at risk of beingcentered approaches while overlooked from passersby (if locatedincorporating design features to foster with their back to a main circulationwell-being and healing (Planetree, 2009). route); andDr. Sternberg (2009) notes that “implicitin an understanding of the mind-body • to satisfy egalitarian principles,
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseFindings & Opportunities “... [O]ne of the most important aspects of a designer’s role is to help change social perception” (Cranz 1998, p. 185). Literature review has illuminated workplaces is an approach this research to biophilia, ergonomics and exercise.existing problems with regards to overall study suggests based on literature review Social encounters and exposurewell-being, from health issues associated and case study findings. to natural environments affect thewith chairs, sitting, sedentary work, mind; and the body is affected by This research study is based on thelack of exercise, obesity, and features the mind while the mind is affected assumption that employees as well as(or lack of features) in our surrounding by the body. Social health is similar to employers desire mobility and resourcesenvironments. How can we solve these emotional health, affecting the mind, in the workplace that support holisticproblems? We can solve these problems and is directly correlated to biophilia health practices involving factors:by focusing on health holistically. such as with human encounters with biophilia, ergonomics, and exercise.Taking into consideration all aspects of other living species. Physical health is Based on findings in literature review,emotional, social and physical health related to ergonomics and exercise, as emotional health directly correspondswhile planning, designing and operating physical health pertains to health of the 32
  • Findings & OpportunitiesIntroductionbody, tissue, organs, muscles, bones, contributors to well-being in thenerves. Literature review of existing workplace?and previous research supports the 4) At what economic cost areassumption that workplace personnel employees and employers willing todesire holistic health, but also reveals implement their preference of holistica gap in research. There is a lack of health factor(s) into their place of work?understanding of what employees andemployers believe contributes to their The purpose of secondary researchpersonal well-being in the workplace questions below is to follow-up withand what they think specifically about results of the primary research questions.the factors of holistic health in their These questions provide clarificationsworkplaces. This research study proposes and illuminate any inconsistenciesquestions that address workplace amongst participants’ responses andpersonnel opinions about health that actions; people do not always do ashave not recently been asked and they say they do.methodically documented. A) How much does each workerThe primary research questions below currently walk during a typical work day?address workplace personnel beliefsabout value, productivity, well-being B) What holistic health programs orand cost with regards to the holistic incentives are currently in place?health factors: biophilia, ergonomics and C) What are ideal work environments?exercise.1) Of the holistic health factors—biophilia, ergonomics and exercise—considered in the workplace, which arevalued by employees and employers inthe workplace?2) Of the holistic health factors—biophilia, ergonomics and exercise—considered in the workplace, whichare considered by employees andemployers to be the most significantcontributors to productivity in theworkplace?3) Of the holistic health factors—biophilia, ergonomics and exercise—considered in the workplace, whichare considered by employees andemployers to be the most significant
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseMethodology “Jolt subjects into a new awareness of their social existence” (Dhadphale, 2009). Different from fixed design research, phase of data collection, as with fixed of populations, case studies allowflexible design research uses a strategy design research. for “in-depth examination of one“where the research design develops particular individual, institution, instance, As this research study’s methods evolved,(emerges, unfolds) during the process of or occurrence,” illuminating social delving deeper into social complexitiesdata collection and analysis” (p. 547). complexities to a body of knowledge (p. within small sedentary workplaces, aTypically, qualitative data is collected 115). Authenticity and richness are goals case study strategy emerged. Caseusing flexible design research, but of any a case study, providing deep studies explore ‘bounded systems’,quantitative data can also be collected. understandings that are beyond what is particular instances or entities that canAlthough organized and systematically generally possible in large-scale survey be defined by identifiable boundariesplanned prior to data collection, the research (p. 116). Case study results may (O’Leary, 2004, p. 115). Althoughresearch design of this particular study not be generalized, but are still valuable, unlikely to provide representationswas not highly specified prior to the main providing supportive evidence forMethodology mindmap 34
  • Methodologytheories or debunking theories (p.116). responses and willingness to participate. Upon recruitment of four small officesThis research study is based on the Each workplace in this research study is in both Georgia and Arizona, primarytheory that employees and employers considered a case study. research data collection began. Eachvalue factors of holistic health in the employee and employer was asked As a part of this qualitative designworkplace, so a case study strategy is to complete a self-administered link- research study, ethnography was usedappropriate. This research study does specific survey online, designed by as a strategy in combination of casenot attempt to generalize findings of this the investigator using Survey Monkey. studies. Ethnography is seeing thingsresearch study. Employees and employers responded in the other’s perspective. A professor to the same survey. The survey consistedAs with other case studies, the four described ethnography as a research of both open questions and closedcase studies of this research study have strategy used “to write a culture.” It questions. Some questions were a similardrawn upon a variety of data collection involves “exploration of the cultural question asked a different way, so asmethods such as surveys, interviews and group in a bid to understand, discover, to catch discrepancies. Open endedobservation; and methodologies such describe and interpret a way of life in the questions are valuable for qualitativeas ethnography (p. 116). This study used point of view of its participants,” which is research, as they offer space forsurveys, interviews, and observation to essentially what this research study seeks participants’ opinions and expressionscollect data; and case studies and rapid to do with employees and employers and participants are not limited toethnography methodologies. Four small of small US workplaces (O’Leary, 2004, answer choices. Coded and analyzedworkplaces in the United States were p. 118). Because this research study were the closed-ended questions, whichrecruited for participation in this research was conducted within five months and required participants to select answersstudy. These four offices provide services traditional ethnographic studies usually from already provided answer selections,to either patients or clients (in some demand long term data collection, this although; most closed questions had aninstances, “clients” is used to represent research study uses rapid ethnography. “other” answer choice if participants’patients throughout this research As methods of collecting data with an felt like further expressing their opinions ordocument). Two of these workplaces ethnographic approach, observations, reasoning for answer choice. Also, someare financial institutions, both corporate surveys, and interviews were used to closed questions were followed by openprivately owned franchises; and two collect personal opinions and responses questions asking for reasons supportingof these workplaces are privately- from three participants from each their previous answers. If open questionsowned medical offices, one an office of workplace. One of three participants were not addressed, interviews providedchiropractic care and the other an office from each office was an employer, and opportunities for asking the questionof ophthalmology. In an effort to avoid two participants from each office were again, and recording of responses.investigator bias, there were no specific employees. Although more employeesmedical or financial office preferences or employers of each office could have As previously mentioned, interviewingfor participant selections. The office participated, each office chose the is “a method of data collection thatselections were random, simply based minimum number of participants to involves researchers asking respondentson the requirements that each office participate in this research study, three— basically open-ended questions”hold sedentary work positions within, one employer and two employees. (O’Leary, 2004, p. 162). Using anand that one of each type (financial interview guide for employers and This research study began with aor medical) was located in Maricopa employees, interviews were conducted research proposal for approval fromCounty, Arizona, and Glynn County, after receiving consent. Each interview the human subjects Institutional ReviewGeorgia. Offices were selected based guide was altered according to survey Board (IRB) in September of 2010.on office type specifics, recruitment responses or lack of survey responses per
  • Introduction Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exerciseeach participant. Each interview was be a widely understood concept, the a full work day. The mileage recordedsemi-structured and conducted one-on- data collection method observation is supports or illuminates inconsistenciesone with privacy, allowing conversations considered a systematic data collection when compared to previous surveyto flow naturally. Each interview with the method to design researchers and responses regarding participant’s values,twelve participants lasted anywhere other post-positivist researchers. Should current behaviors, and thoughts onfrom thirty minutes to just over one hour further research on these particular case exercise at duration. These interviews were all studies be of interest to third partiestranscribed verbatim so that findings or other researchers, many digitalcould easily be found using a more photographs, notes, and sketches werestrategic process of reading and noting taken and made during the twenty-fourfindings that correspond to primary hours of observations at all workplaces.and secondary research questions. Observations were used to collect dataDuring interviews, the researcher relies pertaining to primary and secondaryon the interviewee to provide honest research questions. For example, plants,and open answers (p. 162). This type of both living and artificial, were counted,data collection necessitates rapport, windows locations, noise levels, tasks,honesty, and respect between the floor plans, work stations and equipmentresearcher and participants. And open, within each participant’s workstationnon-judgmental mind is necessary for a were recorded and measuredsuccessful interview process. appropriately. Observations were also made with purposes of eliminating andPrior to interviews, two observation days discrepancies in survey responses.of each workplace lasting in duration ofthree one-hour intervals were conducted Pedometer readings were used toso that interview questions could address record mileage walked by eachquestions that arose during observations. participant during a typical work day,Observation is “a systematic method yielding quantitative data. Following allof data collection that relies on a other data collection methods, eachresearcher’s ability to gather data participant was given a pedometer,through his or her senses” (O’Leary, programmed specifically for his/her2004, p. 170). When using observations body, as per directions. Weight, height,as a method of data collection, it is date and time were programmed onimportant to consider researcher biases each pedometer according to eachand impact on the observed. Robson participant’s body. Most participants(1993) notes in “Approaches to Social programmed their own pedometersResearch” that “it has been amply with assistance from a direction booklet;demonstrated that what observers while I set up others. Pedometers were‘see’ is not determined simply by the clipped to participant waist bandscharacteristics of the thing observed; during the first thirty minutes of arrivingthe characteristics and perspective at the office. Participants recorded theirof the observer also have an effect” mileage and or calories, and steps that(p. 21). Although observations may were measured by the pedometers from 36
  • Primary Research Findings Refer to McEwan’s complete are considered by employees and preferred work environment(s). 30.77%thesis document, published with employers to be the most significant of participants were willing to sacrificeother dissertations and theses by UMI/ contributors to productivity in the their hours in order to implement theirProQuest, for a full review of all findings workplace? preferred work environment(s).and analysis of data. A review of findings The most popular answer choices to Secondary Researchare linked to primary and secondary survey question #37 yeilded a finding Questions research questions which were listed in representing 84.62% of participants whothe Findings and Opportunities . A) How much does each worker believed “freedom to move between currently walk during a typical work day? Primary Research one social phase and another (fromQuestions solitary work to group interaction)” and Participants were recorded through “music” contributed or would contribute pedometer readings to walk from the 1) Of the holistic health factors— to their personal levels of productivity in least mileage of .33 miles per averagebiophilia, ergonomics and exercise— the workplace. work day to the most mileage of 2.66considered in the workplace, which are miles per average work day.valued by employees and employers in 3) Of the holistic health factors—the workplace? biophilia, ergonomics and exercise— B) What holistic health programs or considered in the workplace, which incentives are currently in place?A majority, ten participants, equally are considered by employees andvalued emotional health, physical employers to be the most significant Three of thirteen participants claimedhealth, social health, and spiritual health. contributors to well-being in the their employers provided ergonomicThree participants valued emotional workplace? furniture and equipment in thehealth over the physical, social, and workplace. No health programs orspiritual health, believing all other health A majority of participants, seven incentives were in place in any offollows emotional health; therefore, participants, felt their workplace lacked the four offices for exercise, weightbiophilia, ergonomics and exercise “opportunity for regular exercise”. No management, alternate transportationwere all considered to be valuable to all participants felt that their workplace to and from work, or pet friendlyparticipants. A majority of participants, lacked “meaningful change and sensory behaviors.eight out of thirteen participants, variability”.preferred to work in a workplace C) What are ideal work 4) At what economic cost areenvironment with exercise space and environments? employees and employers willing toequipment, serene natural environment implement their preference of holistic When asked to express their idealwith outdoor space, and body-conscious health factor(s) into their place of work? workspaces, participants expressed bothfurniture, equipment and workstations. extreme idealistic work environments 69.23% of participants were unwilling to 2) Of the holistic health factors— and minor adjustments to their existing sacrifice vacation time, hours, or salarybiophilia, ergonomics and exercise— workplaces. Such ideals included: or pay cuts in order to implement theirconsidered in the workplace, which plants, animals, window, lighting,
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercisespace, furniture, art, personal items,environment, color, exercise, food, andother.The purpose of secondary researchquestions below is to follow-up withresults of the primary research questions.These questions provide clarificationsand illuminate any inconsistenciesamongst participants’ responses andactions; people do not always do asthey say they do. 38
  • Discussion & Conclusion Word cloud of words participants used to describe their ideal work environments
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and ExerciseDiscussion & Conclusion Introduction related design involve providing access As a majority of participants felt to natural environments, body-conscious their workplaces lacked opportunity This chapter discusses the results of equipment and spaces, as well as for regular exercise, design implicationsthe data analysis presented in Chapter opportunities for exercise and social involve exercise space and equipment,four. Topics covered include conclusions interaction. These were exposed as even clothing. Participants wereabout the research questions and contributing factors to cognitive, social recorded through pedometer readingsassumption, implications for design and physical health. to walk from the least mileage of .33and further research. The intent of this miles per average work day to the mostresearch study is not to apply the findings Value mileage of 2.66 miles per typical workfrom the four case studies to other day, representing the more sedentary The primary research question aboutgeneral workplaces, but to illuminate personnel and the more active value asks: Of the holistic health factors—what a small population personally thinks personnel. biophilia, ergonomics and exercise—about their overall well-being in their considered in the workplace, which areworkplaces; and how these particular Productivity valued by employees and employers inworkplaces can attain and promote the workplace? A majority of participants The primary research question aboutholistic health in their workplaces. Future expressed that they equally valued productivity asked: Of the holistic healthresearch may build upon this study, emotional health, physical health, social factors—biophilia, ergonomics andexpanding the participant size and health, and spiritual health; therefore, exercise—considered in the workplace,illuminating further thoughts on holistic indirectly, biophilia, ergonomics and which are considered by employeeshealth in workplaces. This conclusion exercise were all considered to be and employers to be the most significantsummary also provides an explanation valuable to all participants. A majority contributors to productivity in theof how this research contributes to the of participants, eight out of thirteen workplace? A marjority of participantsexisting bodies of knowledge within the participants, expressed preferences for believed freedom to move from solitaryfields of interior design, industrial design a workplace environment with exercise work to group interaction as well asand fashion design. This research study space and equipment, serene natural music contributed or would contribute toproposes that employees and employers environment with outdoor space, their personal levels of productivity in theof these four participating workplaces animals and/or social atmosphere, plants workplace. Office design and planningdesire mobility and resources in the and natural scenery, and a workplace might include design elements that caterworkplace that support holistic health environment with body-conscious to social interaction between workplacepractices involving biophilia, ergonomics, furniture, equipment and workstations. As personnel, as elements and factors thatand exercise. Major design implications these particular workplace environments influence and accommodate socialfor these particular case studies involve possess elements of the factors biophilia, health have been noted as contributorsaccommodating the workplaces to ergonomics and exercise, all three to productivity in the four participatingprovide personnel with opportunities for factors are considered preferrerences in workplaces of these particular caseholistic health in working environments. the workplaces of these case studies. studies. Furthermore, the more sociallyMore specific implications of office active have been noted to be also the 40
  • Discussion & Conclusionmore physically active of workplace cost asked: At what economic cost are breaks needed? Some people don’tpersonnel. employees and employers willing to take the time to break or stretch, but implement their preference of holistic should. As literature review and primary Well-being health factor(s) into their place of work? research findings illustrate, some people More than half (69.23%) of participants eat while they work. Does this affect their The primary research question about stated they were unwilling to sacrifice productivity or their well-being? Is eatingwell-being asked: Of the holistic health vacation time, hours, salary or pay cuts in lunch while working a bad habit? Howfactors—biophilia, ergonomics and order to implement their preferred work beneficial is this really? Further researchexercise—considered in the workplace, environment(s). 30.77% of participants could be explored on this subject inwhich are considered by employees were willing to sacrifice their hours in order to find the most efficient andand employers to be the most significant order to implement their preferred work proper way to implement exercise andcontributors to well-being in the environment(s). Participants expressed breaks into workplaces.workplace? their willingness to sacrifice hours at workA majority of participants, seven Current Miles by sacrificing lunch hour such as withparticipants, felt their workplace lacked eating at desks, working while eating Secondary research question about“opportunity for regular exercise”. No (which Steelcase stated was already miles walked at work asked: How muchparticipants felt that their workplace occurring in workplaces in 2006, 360 does each worker currently walk duringlacked “meaningful change and article) in order to spend the actual a typical work day? Participants weresensory variability”. When asked what a “lunch hour” exercising, either at the recorded through pedometer readingsparticipant thought about how her office office or a nearby gym. Transportation to walk from the least mileage of .33might incorporate exercise into their time to and from gyms, and shower miles per average work day to the mostworkplace, she said, “I don’t see how time at work and during work hours may mileage of 2.66 miles per average workwe could unless we actually took a time not be realistic for all workplaces; so day. The average miles walked duringout of our schedule and made time to the question is, what is the proper, most a typical work day for eight participantsgo for a walk or do something other than efficient way to implement exercise into (four participants that were noted ason our lunch hour”; but that may not the workplace? Vigorous exercise versus borderline introvert/extrovert werebe economically feasible, as she says, mild exercise preferences need to be not included in average calculations)“that’s taking away from having another determined in order to accommodate were figured to be .78 miles for the lesspaying patient coming in which could concerns for sweat, stench and shower socially active and 1.41 miles for theaffect out bottom like and someone time associated with vigorous exercise. more socially active. This data showslosing a job”. The most efficient way to Mild exercise such as steadily walking that the less social participants walkedincorporate exercise into the workplace, two miles per hour on a treadmill less than the more social participants inthen, seems to be by providing gym Walkstation will not likely involve as many participating workplaces. Seeing as mostmemberships, longer lunches, or concerns for hygiene and professional participants felt their workplaces lackedworkstations that accommodate and appearances. opportunities for exercise and the moreoffer more body movement, such socially active personnel were noted as Regarding breaks, one participantas treadmill walk stations or sit-stand more physically active in the workplace, stated that she did not think she wouldworking positions. it may be beneficial for workplaces still go outside and stretch if she did not to consider implementing exercises or Cost take cigarette breaks. Some breaks, physical activity that less socially active such as lunch breaks, are mandatory The primary research question about personnel would feel comfortable with. in some workplaces. Are mandatory
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercise Incentives and Wellness Walkstation during interviews, at least Ideal Work EnvironmentsPrograms two participants expressed interest for such equipment to their employer. Secondary research question about Secondary research question ideal work environments asked: Whatabout existing incentives and wellness Are people aware of their options-- are ideal work environments? Detailsprograms asked: What holistic health the variety of furniture and equipment of participants’ ideal workspaces wereprograms or incentives are currently in available to them? Ten out of twelve gathered to enhance future implicationsplace? Approximately twenty-three participants had not heard of a treadmill in areas of office design. When askedpercent of participants claimed their workstation. Wellness coaches and to express their ideal workspaces,employers provided ergonomic furniture ergonomists are professionals who participants expressed both extremeand equipment in the workplace. No can educate workplace personnel on idealistic work environments and minorhealth programs or incentives were healthy work behaviors. Although most adjustments to their existing place in any of the four offices for participants of this study expressed that Such ideals included elements that haveexercise, weight management, alternate they would prefer to work seated in an been organized into the categories:transportation to and from work, or pet ordinary chair at a desk of standard plants, animals, window, lighting,friendly behaviors. All participants stated height (the accommodations of most space, furniture, art, personal items,that they would bike or walk to/from participants during the time of the environment, color, exercise, food, andwork if they lived closer. study) participants may not have had other. Participants mostly considered experience with alternative options, elements of space and environment.If corporate offices offered incentives consequently; they were not truly able If designers and planners were to takeand holistic health programs to their to express interest in alternative work such elements into consideration duringfranchise owners, perhaps smaller positions and furniture options. workplace design, at least for thesefranchise offices would be more inclined particular case studies, one mightto offer health programs and incentives Surprisingly, a majority of participants, consider storage, water features, roomto their employees; this is what the approximately sixty-one percent, felt layout, material selections, equipmenttwo franchise workplaces of this study their workplace lacked “opportunity and furniture. For environmentalsuggested. Due to strict corporation for regular exercise”. Hygiene, space considerations, designers and plannersrules over franchises and little response and time are some factors that may might accommodate workplaces withto requests from franchise owners, it hinder workplace exercise, despite the soothing atmospheres and outdoorcan be difficult for franchise owners to desires for exercise in the workplace. relationships.implement holistic health practices and Mild exercise such as steadily walkingprograms in their own offices despite two miles per hour on a treadmill Implications for Futurewhat they feel would be beneficial for workstation will not likely involve as many Researchtheir employees. Since data collection, concerns for hygiene and professional appearances as would rigorous exercise Cranz explains (1995) thatI noticed that my conversations with programs. The most efficient way to workplace designers need to considerparticipants, especially the employers, incorporate exercise into workplaces different ways to sit as well as ways tohave initiated some thought on may be by providing gym memberships, incorporate a variety of body posturesprograms, policy changes, incentives, longer lunches, more breaks and such as lying, squatting, kneeling,and design or decor changes that may workstations that accommodate more standing and sitting into our lives (p. 185,provide healthier work environments body movement, such as sit-stand-walk p. 205); but existing positions and reasonsfor them, their staff and even their working stations. for such positions must be explored inclients or patients. After learning of the 42
  • Discussion & Conclusionorder to fully understand how future comparing various work positions would in current workspaces to productivityresearch and design knowledge of shed more light on true workplace and well-being in the re-designed orworkplace design can do to improve personnel ergonomic preferences, new work environment adapted tohealth and enforce preventative making certain each participant is incorporate holistic health practicesproactive measures for workplace aware of alternative work positions according to participants opinions andpersonnel while successfully adapting through experiment experience. desires, which have been recognized into rapid global changes, information the data analysis of this study. With the goals of this qualitative researchand demands of computer technology. study based on collecting opinions of Future research addressing exerciseAlthough most participants of this study employees and employers, this study laid preferences and program specifics inexpressed that they would prefer to work additional foundation for future studies the workplace would provide valuableseated in an ordinary chair at a desk of of workplace health. A future study may information for action research. Instandard height (the accommodations collect quantitative data from controlled particular, the survey that Waikar andof most participants during the time of experiments, monitoring and testing so Bradshaw used to determine whetherthe study) participants may not have as to measure the relationships between twenty-one businesses in southeasthad experience with alternative options, holistic health factors and productivity Louisiana provide formal exerciseconsequently; they were not truly and well-being. Longer studies using programs or not, the willingness ofable to express interest in alternative trial and error, involving action research, personnel to participate in formalwork positions and furniture options. A could focus on evidence based design, exercise programs, and employees’research study that tests participants comparing productivity and well-being preferences regarding features of anwork productivity and comfort while Categories of ideal work environments with counts of corresponding elements mentioned by participants
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exerciseexercise program (1995) would provide Intracoastal Waterway in southeastern if images of pristine waterfalls andfurther beneficial information for United States? The two offices located at rainforests draped in rainbows wereimplementation of exercise programs sea level on the east coast—of a humid more common, would fewer people litterinto the specific participating offices subtropical climate, barrier islands, marsh or ignore their innate desire to bond withof this research study as well as other hammocks, maritime forests, and lush nature, fewer succumbing to materialismworkplaces. More specific questions ecosystems—have a considerably larger and the idea of, “I want it fast and Iwould assess personnel preferences such number of plants in their workspaces want it now.”? Would such imagesas exercise length, degree, location, than the two offices located in the rocky instill faith; produce more thought anddegree of privacy, embarrassment and dusty southwest Arizona Sonoran consciousness, remorse?issues, exercise types, and instructions, Desert ecosystem with a subtropical Implications for Designas Waikar and Bradshaw determined. arid climate of dessert, succulents andAlthough participants were not allowed mountains. What do the findings of thisan option for “other” or open-ended research study mean? “Equipped Many studies have discovered patternsresponses, Waikar and Bradshaw with good data on which, or how of human preferences for natural versusconcluded that only three percent many, people are sensitive to lighting, urban scenes, supporting the geneticof participants indicated that their spatial arrangements, noise, and other predisposition of the biophilia hypothesis.companies have a formal exercise ordinary features of our surroundings, If there exists an innate desire to beprogram; and ninety-seven percent architects, office managers, doctors, surrounded by plants, do artificial plantsof participants indicated that their and the rest of us will be better able to fulfill our innate desire for living organisms,company did not have a formal exercise creative more supportive, personalized essentially our biophilia predisposition?program (p. 23). Of that ninety-seven environments” (Gallagher, 1993, p. 18). This research study shows that althoughpercent, sixty-nine percent responded As Gallagher has stated, with results of three participants stated they had nothat they would be willing to participate research studies such as this one, data preference of natural or artificial plantsin a formal exercise program if one were can be applied within interdisciplinary in their workplaces, none of the thirteenoffered by their company (p. 24). In design teams, such as when teams survey participants stated they in factorder to efficiently implement exercise of design, science and business fields value artificial plants. Further researchprograms into workplaces during working collaborate. Interdisciplinary design could explore whether artificial plantshours, further research exploring recent teams could collaborate to provide fulfill our biophilia needs.lunch break behaviors would yield valuable insight for office design; such asvaluable information. Beyond the scope of this research study, input from ergonomists, environmental but somewhat related, future research psychologists, interior designers, Does climate and geographical might explore the problem of human- architects and wellness coaches. Morelocation of an office and its employees nature disconnect through possible specifically, this chapter discussesaffect the desire for plants within an ways of improving human relations findings of this research study thatoffice? This may be a reason for the with nature through implementation contribute to fields of interior design,disparity between the numbers of plants of nature and natural environments in industrial design and fashion designin the offices at the two geographies workplace design; yielding the essence in order to create more supportive,that could also be explored in further of sustainable design, environmentally personalized work environments thatresearch. If residing in the southwestern benign, economically viable and socially help to increase well-being and improveSonoran Desert, are personnel less equitable design (White, St. Pierre & quality of life. As literature review of thislikely to feel a need for indoor plants Belletire, 2009, cover). For example, research study has demonstrated thatthan those residing near the Atlantic 44
  • Discussion & Conclusionelements of biophilia, ergonomics and • and sensory variability it is done the right way.” Interior designexercise affect peoples’ well-being and industrial design can help address are believed by participants of this studyand quality of life, perhaps the best this problem of a lack of personal items as well as other researchers (Gallagher,way to implement healthy functioning in the workplace. Walls or cubicles 1993; Oseland, 2009; Sternberg, 2009) toworkplaces into US culture is to begin by with personal elements, such as color improve well-being. Such elements canchanging the design within offices. preferences, built-in photo displays, be included in the design phase of work personal or varying works of art, and Interior Office Design environments in order to promote overall options for simple choices in decor may well-being of workplace personnel. have positive effects on workplace As stated with literature review, Also during design and planning personnel’s workplace demands can be phases of office design, space shouldstressful and harmful for the body and be considered for implementation Since this research study has recognizedmind; however, relief can be found. Such of future innovative health programs that living plants are preferred inthings as: and equipment, as some of the case these work environments over artificial studies have shown that due to a lack of plants, studying values of plants, both • freedom to move from solitary work special requirements for exercise space living and artificial, and the manyto group interaction, and equipment, they cannot easily manifestations of artificial plants is • music, implement exercise into their offices. beneficial for understanding human behavior and emotions. Further research • opportunities to engage in More supportive and personalized to be explored on this topic may involvespontaneous social encounters, environments involve personal comparing personal preferences of elements. Personal elements, such as • opportunity to engage in creativity, artificial plants to living, as well as colors preferences and photos, have dead plants to living plants. Beneficial • self-expression and exploration, been noted in this study to contribute impacts on the design of workplaces, to personal productivity, well-being, contributing to productivity of employers • appealing visual environments, comfort and productivity in workplaces. and employees in workplaces, may Franchises owned by corporate • regular exercise, come from such research. Designing businesses enforce rules and regulations workplaces to provide employees and • space for body movements such against personal items in workspaces, employers with access to the inspiringas exercise, stretching and a variety of however; personnel believe personal natural environments and associationsworking positions, items are conversation pieces and can with living things, will contribute to help create humanizing experiences human innate desire for living organisms. • furniture and equipment, for clients and patients alike. Two participants of this study specifically Office design and planning might • noise levels not much above or expressed that they felt personal include design elements that cater tobelow that in nature, accessories such as photos help to social interaction between workplace • personal accessories, humanize and warm the corporate personnel, as elements and factors environment, helping to establish that influence and accommodate • plant life, rapport with clients. Personal photos and social health have been noted as accessories are conversations pieces. contributors to productivity in the four • association with other species, “I think it is also warming to the client… participating workplaces of these • access to outdoor environments, because…it’s a conversation piece if particular case studies. It has been found
  • Holistic Health Factors in the Workplace: Biophilia, Ergonomics and Exercisethat implementing space and varied office equipment could help him himself. He would not want to stand; aswork stations that can accommodate work more comfortably. He expressed he believes it would make his patientsdiverse body positions and movement concern for when he must constantly feel rushed, as if he is not genuinelyare favorable approaches in order to turn his back on his patients in order to taking time to listen to them. In such apromote physical, psychosocial and type information on his laptop computer. case, design elements should not onlypsychological health. Incorporating He suggested something like a swing cater to employees and employersincentives, activities, practices, space arm that provides opportunities for within a work space, but also the otherand equipment that accommodate information input without the need users such as clients and patients.diverse body positions can and should to turn away from patients. Another Fashion Designbe incorporated into workplaces through product design implication wasplanning and design phases. Designers mentioned through the use of a software Perhaps now that we know allhave the ability and skills to promote program similar to ergonomic software participants of this study within smallhealth and healing environments that alerts computer users when it is time sedentary workplaces of Arizona andthrough interior design and product for a break, showing stretches visually. Georgia expressed a preference ofdesign, considering the body and After recently learning about balancing exercising at work over before or aftermind; whether through designing for exercises and breathing techniques, work and felt their workplaces wereergonomics, interspecies interactions or this participant suggested some type lacking opportunities for regular exercise,exercise. of software that provides balancing they will begin to implement exercise exercise and breathing technique practices. Exercise practices include Industrial Design reminders to help her and colleagues clothing considerations. Depending practice these exercises. Product design implications on whether people prefer intenseinclude suggestions from participants exercise or mild exercise in their places Changing the public and culturalof this research study. Such product of work, professional attire that allows traditions may be difficult and takedesign include product for body for movement and flexibility as well as a long time, but one can begincomfort and exercise. Equipment that a material that absorbs moisture and implementing change for healthieraccommodates body movement, dries quickly would be more appropriate behaviors in their own environment, atflexibility, comfort and enhances than the materials of typical restrictive work or home. Cranz and Steelcaseproductivity (such as the Walkstation pants, skirts, collared or button down offer creative solutions for healthierby Steelcase and Dr. James A. Levine) shirts and blouses that can be found working positions for our bodies,are some examples of products that in professional wardrobes. Shoes are through interior design (from lightingare desired by participants of the case another component of fashion design to textures) as well as furniture designstudies of this research study. to be considered in order to successfully (from rocking chairs to sit-stand-walk implement healthy workplace practices stations). Accommodations to seatingA participant suggested some type such as exercise. Shoes that possess can be made for those who may wantof exercise device be used for leg professional appeal, yet provide to rest in a more reclined position asexercises under the desk while working, flexibility, support, and other practicalities they wait—such as while waiting at theseated. She described something that would meet the needs of professional doctor’s office. One participating doctoryou can put underneath a desk to do dress as well as comfort and support in particular, mentioned how he wouldleg and feet exercises while sitting at for a variety of practical movements consider alternative seating positions atwork. Another participant specifically in the workplace. Such design of both work, but would want to accommodatementioned how a re-design of existing clothing and accessories for professional patients with the same seat height as 46
  • Discussion & Conclusionattire should consider sustainable their own personnel’s thoughts ondesign initiatives, such as taking into health practices in the workplace;consideration the materials used and and even begin implementing healththeir synthetic or natural qualities, programs that promote psychosocial,bacteria, dyes, toxins, durability, life physiological and psychological healthcycle, reuse, recyclability, processing whether through weight loss, alternativemethods, harvesting and production. transportation or exercise programs, ergonomic behaviors, or implementation Conclusion of elements of biophilia such as water features, plants or personal items. As described through literaturereview in Chapter two, componentsof holistic health are supported byfactors of biophilia, ergonomics, andexercise, which are believed to besignificant contributors to well-beingand productivity in the workplace.The intersection of science, designand research design reveals gaps inknowledge of workplace health thatcan be bridged by future research.Recognizing employees’ and employers’perceptions of health and workplacedesign have implications for a healthierworkforce and healthier workingenvironments, productivity gains andhappier people. As an unbiased outsidedesign researcher I have begun to tacklethe forces that limit the potential of“such visions of sensual rationality frombecoming our cultural standard” (Cranz,1995). This research study was producedout of my desire to improve the well-being of people through improvementsin the quality of work spaces. Theinformation presented is a gatewayto the possibilities of implementinghealthier policies and practices intoworkplaces that require sedentary work.Acknowledging the results of this study,perhaps small sedentary workplaceswithin the US will be inspired to inquire
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