Why Wellness at Home Matters : According to LiLu
Why Wellness at Home Matters- According to LiLu
When we talk about wellness often a spa or the gym might come to mind. But creating wellness into our everyday routines is something more of us our striving for.We spend a majority of our time at home which is why wellness at home matters. Not that we would need to take time out to “practice wellness” but that our daily life is designed to support wellness.
Next Saturday I will be presenting Remodeling Projects that can support your Wellness at Home at the Bloomington Home Improvement Fair. Join me at 11:30 for a discussion of specific projects you can do and new and exciting home appliances and products that can help you create a home that supports your wellness.
Why wellness at home matters
According to the EPA the average American in 2018 spent 90% of their life’s indoors. 6% of that time is in a car and 25% in a work environment. When you factor in working from home or part-time the average American spends approximately 70% of their week inside their home.
Escaping to a spa or resort sounds great but think of the impact you could have on your overall health and wellness if the place you spent the vast majority of your time was healthful, toxin-free and supported the best habits that you could have.
There are many elements in our homes that can help or hinder our physical and mental health. I thought I would share some cornerstones of health and wellness that our homes can impact.
In general, when designers and architects think about the wellness of homeowners there are key aspects of the home we consider.
Air quality means having the best air to breathe inside your home. Because americans spend 70% of their time inside their homes the quality of the air inside impacts our wellness more than the the air outside.
To ensure the air in your home is safe and adds to your family’s wellness you should strive for indoor air that has no toxins, bad smells and has the right humidity levels.
Good circulation and ventilation ensure the air isn’t stale and stress is reduced when you feel you have control over the air flow.
One relatively inexpensive and quick way to improve indoor air quality is to add plants that improve the air to your home. We wrote a blog about it a few months ago which is an easy reference to indoor plants.
It’s important that water is good quality, the our water tastes appealing and is easily accessed. People must have confidence in the safety of the water in their home. Both filtering and testing your water can help you feel secure about its quality which removes stress. Because poor quality water can cause anything from temporary rashes to serious neurological disorders and cancer, which has been reported numerous times over decades, it is imperative that we know our water is non-toxic.
Having access to fresh foods and the ability to prepare healthy meals and enjoy them with family and friends is a key principle of creating wellness at home. Having garden fresh food that is stored and cooked in ways that preserve its nutritional value is proven to increase health. Home gardens, kitchs en gardens and good local farmers markets all play a part in your wellness
Sharing meals and cooking together creates social connection, support and a sense of community that is also key to wellness. This is why wellness at home matters.
Having light that makes your home both visually pleasing and is well lit for performing your everyday tasks is critical for wellness. If you have ever tried to tell the difference between navy and black in an under lit closet you know the stress poor lighting can create. Shaving in a dim bathroom can have ill affects on both your physcial health and increase stress. Proper lighting can prevent eye strain and stress symptoms.
Well designed lighting can prevent health issues with your eyes, decrease stress and if your lighting supports circadian rhythms it can actually improve your sleep and wellness.
When we are focused on wellness, moving is an important focus. Moving without restriction and with ease is a key component of wellness at home. We strive to design spaces that don’t call for you to sit in one place stagnate at all times.
Design can both support everyone's ability to move freely and securely in a home and encourage movement by designing in reasons to move from room to room and up stairs and down. In addition, speciality rooms can support exercise of all types at home and make it easier to practice an exercise routine.
Thermal Comfort and Control
Being able to have your home at a comfortable temperature that supports your circadian rhythm supports sleep and living an active lifestyle. Having control over your environment is an important aspect of emotional health.
Many studies have been done, particularly in hospitals to determine the impact of environment on positive patient outcomes. Having some control over the environment helped patients feel less stress and impacted heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. It’s pretty easy to draw a correlation between having control of your environment and stress.
Unwanted noise can damage more than your ears. It can increase stress levels, prevent you from getting restful sleep and in studies of office workers has been shown to negatively affect memory and cognition.
Having a quiet peaceful home where you have control of sound and noise levels is an important part of a wellness focus.
Materials can add to the poor indoor air quality, be neutral or actually improve the quality of the air.
Selecting materials with no volatile organic compounds or other toxins is a great strategy. In addition, selecting materials that are easily maintained with non-toxic cleaners is also important.
Today there are even tiles and paints that can purify the air in your home of any toxins and pollutants that do find their way in. You wouldn’t believe what comes in on the bottom of your shoes but that’s a different post.
Support for Mental and Emotional health
Designing a home that supports mental and emotional health can included many elements.
It’s important to have spaces that easily support social connection yet have rooms where privacy is available when needed.
Pursuing your passions is also a major component of emotional health and managing stress. Having spaces that support your particular passion is important. Whether that is playing music, dancing or knitting. Whatever helps you relax and destress should be available to you at home with ease.