29 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Spa Business
2023 issue 2

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Leisure Management - Positive environment

Finishing Touch

Positive environment

Buildings which have a wellness centric design boost perceived wellbeing, health and satisfaction according to a peer-reviewed study

The Inns of Aurora in New York state, USA, has a WELL Certified spa photo: Bryan Peck, courtesy of the Inns of Aurora

A new study in the Journal of Building and Environment* has found that environments which focus on things such as light, water and air quality can have a significant impact on our wellbeing in a number of ways.

For the peer-reviewed research, a team from universities in the USA which specialise in architectural engineering and design, analysed the impact of WELL Certification using more than 1,300 pre- and post-occupancy survey responses from six companies in North America.

Launched in 2014, WELL offers a framework for healthy buildings spanning 108 features across 10 categories of air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound materials, mind and community (see www.spabusiness.com/PaulScialla). It’s being used in 125 countries by more than 100 Fortune 500 companies and brands such as Four Seasons Beverly Hills.

WELL Certification is awarded to companies which meet certain requirements of the WELL Building Standard.

Specifically, this study focused on WELL Certified workplaces and found a number of benefits for occupants:

• A near 30 per cent improvement in overall satisfaction with the workplace, which jumped from 42 per cent to 70 per cent

• A 26 per cent overall increase in reported wellbeing scores

• A 10 per cent increase in mental health and a 2 per cent increase in physical health

• A 10-point jump in median productivity scores

Rachel Hogdon, president and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, creator of the standard, says this is the first time researchers have published rigorous longitudinal research into its certification. She adds: “It shows unequivocally how a people-first approach supports wide-ranging benefits for occupants and organisations alike”.

Lead study author Nasim Ildiri concludes that the findings “serve as another powerful accelerant for healthy building adoption”.

*Source. Ildiri, N et al. Impact of WELL Certification on Occupant Satisfaction and Perceived Health, Well-being, and Productivity: A Multi-Office Pre- Versus Post-Occupancy Evaluation. Journal of Building and Environment. October 2022

Originally published in Spa Business 2023 issue 2

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