Let’s talk about Biophilia? Bio what?
Have you ever heard about Biophilia? This is the need of humans to connect with the nature.
Nature is familiar and it makes us feel relaxed and energised. Indulging ourselves in nature increases our psychological well-being. According to researchers the reason for all this is the results of our ancestor’s survival history. We humans used to live a big part of our history in the Savannahs of East Africa near water, which was needed for hydration but could also function as a natural barrier for predators. Nature provided us shelter, food and safety.
Today, technology has enabled us to build the most unnatural landscapes, that allows us to travel easily, communicate across huge distances, and to technologically produce and manipulate material goods that look like natural phenomena but are not. Moreover, we spent on average 90% of our time indoors. in which the office environment is a big part. But many offices are square shaped with artificial lighting and air systems. If nature makes us feel so much better we should have more of it around us.
Hereby 4 simple tips to bring nature back in your (office) environment:
Visual connection- placing plants or images of nature in the (work)space
Experiencing nature, and to a smaller extend images of nature, decreases levels of stress. Research indicated that universally the preferred view is looking down a slope to a scene that includes copses of shade trees, flowering plants, calm non-threatening animals, indications of human habitation, and bodies of clean water.
2. Non-visual — integrate audio sounds with water, birds, winds or white noise.
Research showed that nature sounds, compared to urban noise, increases the speed (37%) in which people restore energy after being exposed to stress. Moderate ambient noise (70 decibels) had a greater positive impact on performance compared to noise lower than (50 decibel) and greater than 85 decibel. The best effect on restoration and performance was found when visual and non-visual interventions were applied.
3. Access to water — position the office near water if possible
Seeing, hearing or the feeling of water enhance the experience of a space. Research even showed reduced stress, increased feelings of tranquility and lower heart rate and blood pressure after being in de presence of water or images containing water elements.
4. Thermal and airflow– Adjusting the temperature between the optimal levels
Thermal comfort is always a challenge, one likes it warm other prefers it colder. Interesting enough research showed that people like moderate levels of sensory variability in their environment, this is the case for noise, light but also temperature. Concerning temperature, even heating or cooling a small portion of the body is already perceived highly comfortable even without really impacting the body’s overall core temperature.
If you are inspired you might want to experience this in person. That is possible, via this link you can see the top 10 most sustainable and green buildings world wide.. Or be amazed by Green city of Singapore..