Wellness: the Key to a Happy Home and a Happier, Healthier You
January is a time when a lot of us take our health, fitness and general wellbeing more seriously. But wellness isn’t just about feeling fit and healthy or free from those pesky coughs and colds going around the office.
January is the time when a lot of us take our health, fitness and general wellbeing more seriously. But wellness isn’t just about feeling fit and healthy or free from those pesky coughs and colds going around the office.
We prefer to use the wider definition of wellness “a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing” and as our new research: ‘Wellness: A healthy and a happy home’ reports, where you live can have a huge impact on your overall state of wellbeing.
People tend to spend around 63%of their lifetime at home. So it’s important that the home you are in, your friends and family, and the environment around you all contribute to making it as happy as possible.
Dr. Bill Hettler, an American academic, first proposed six elements of wellbeing, which later was expanded to seven. These are: social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual and physical. Our new report looks at each one and examines how your home can be designed to improve wellness for a healthy, happy home and a healthy, happy you.
In terms of social wellness it is important to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Loneliness is a real threat to happiness: there is a 26%increase in mortality associated with loneliness. There are currently 7.7 million people living alone in the UK, so developers need to make sure schemes are connected to excellent transport links, allowing people to get around easily and get involved in social events and groups. An increased number of communal facilities and areas enabling residents to meet each other, socialise together and build new friendships, also helps combat loneliness.
Much like social wellbeing, fulfilling our emotional needs centres on connecting with others, being part of a community, and keeping your body and mind active. Homes that include indoor and outdoor private spaces, good security, and carefully thought through design to minimise practical irritations, can help with emotional wellbeing.
Buildings play a large part in our experience of the environment, and a drive towards sustainability in the home is helping to redress our environmental impact. Indoors, low energy heating, efficient waste recycling and efficient design all contribute to a positive environment. Outdoors, landscaping and planting are crucial, not only to reduce pollutant levels, but to allow us to engage with our surroundings.
Elsewhere in our wellness report, we document the importance of proximity to local religious buildings to boost spiritual wellbeing. Home design can also play a part, with quiet space for reflection and meditation, light open spaces, and quiet spaces outdoors. IN many US buildings, yoga and meditation rooms are being built as communal facilities.
One of the issues to come out of our wellness report was the fact that work-life balance is becoming increasingly uneven. The ability to be “always on” with connected smartphones and laptops means that people are encouraged to respond to emails when they should be enjoying much-needed time off. This is contributing to a significant lack of occupational wellbeing.
Intellectual wellness is all about keeping our brains active; learning new concepts, experiencing new things or improving our skills, all contributes to lifelong learning. In the home environment, places to study or work, such as home offices, contribute to positive intellectual wellbeing.
Physical wellness is the most obvious manifestation of our overall wellbeing, and buildings are increasingly in tune with this need. More developers are now providing gyms, swimming pools, spa facilities to enhance our overall physical experience.
You can find out more about the findings of our new wellness report here.