Lynne Dearborn Contributes Two Chapters to Book
Associate Professor Lynne Dearborn’s “Traditional and Alternative Approaches to Health and Well-Being,” is the lead essay in Health and Well-being for Interior Architecture (Taylor and Francis, 2017), a first of its kind book addressing the intersection of environmental design and health. The book’s authors include scholars and professionals from fields such as architecture, construction, epidemiology, policy, and law who ask readers to consider climate, geography, and culture alongside human biology, psychology, and sociology when investigating ways to improve human health and well-being.
Discussing a range of examples from diverse culture and life-style groups, “Traditional and Alternative Approaches to Health and Well-Being” examines beliefs about health, wellness, and environmental influences. This precedes and structures the presentation of a framework useful for designers and builders of the environment as they seek to plan, accommodate, and promote health and wellness within their projects. This framework highlights specific words and ideas related to health and wellness that can be operationalized during the design and construction process.
With co-authors Takemi Sugiyama (Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia) and Neville Owen (Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia), Dearborn addresses a newly identified health risk, prolonged time spent sitting, and its implications for design of office environments in “Designing to Confront the Adverse Health Impacts of Workplace Sitting.” Given that much of adults’ daily sitting time is accrued in workplace and domestic contexts, there is a need to better understand the sitting-related attributes of these indoor environments. This essay highlights new evidence from epidemiological and experimental research demonstrating that prolonged unbroken sitting, as distinct from doing too little exercise, can increase the risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Reducing indoor sedentary behaviors is thus a preventive-health priority, for which an understanding of factors influencing how long people sit in these indoor environments is needed. This chapter introduces a perspective intended to identify new opportunities for research and practice. To do so, it first describes the “behavior settings” construct from ecological psychology, which emphasizes how the attributes of environments can mandate or promote certain behaviors and discourage others. In this context, the authors suggest the utility of a “routes” and “destinations” model applied to behavior-setting to identify attributes with potential influence on length of time spent in seated activities. The chapter provides examples from recent research studies and considers how these may function at the micro-level of indoor environments—particularly the workplace setting.
Since designers play such a pivotal role in human interaction with interior and architectural design, Health and Well-Being for Interior Architecture sheds light on the importance of a designer’s attention to health and well-being while also acknowledging the ever-changing built environment. Through various viewpoints, and over 30 images, this book guides designers through ways to create and develop designs to improve occupants’ health and well-being.