Could the obstacle to your workplace wellness program’s success be a lack of architects?
Active Design is defined as “the translation of health research into design solutions that amplify the role of architecture and urban planning in improving public health and well-being,” by New York Center for Active Design.
According to a fascinating report by the architecture and design firm KI:
“As more and more companies embrace worker wellness, many are turning to the architectural and design communities for workspace solutions in support of a healthier workforce. Turning those sedentary office environments into spaces that can encourage healthier lifestyles is the central idea behind Active Design.”
As described by the Society for Human Resource Management, this means “the process of structuring the workplace to inherently promote movement.” In other words, perhaps your office space design creates an unintended impediment to wellness promotion.
To understand what options might work best, KI “conducted with professionals from top architecture and design firms, as well as a series of extensive surveys.
One survey considered the perspectives of more than 100 average office workers.
A second survey was sent to more than 100 workplace industry practitioners including architects, designers, and workplace strategists.” The study is titled “Understanding Active Design: The Rise of Human Sustainability.”
The firm’s hypothesis: “There are clear benefits from encouraging movement throughout the day. Therefore, creating environments that intuitively promote activity must become an indispensable part of wellness in the workplace.”
The result: “Nine best practices built on feedback from KI interviews and surveys with workplace design professionals and employees that can help accomplish effective Active Design.” These include:
- Implement Daylighting
- Create a Variety of Work Spaces
- Encourage Face-to-Face Communications
- Offer Healthy Food Options
- Encourage Movement at Work
- Design Flexible, Open Multi-Use Spaces
- Subconsciously Inspire People to Take Stairs
- Incorporate Height-Adjustable Worksurfaces
- Allocate Outdoor Workspace