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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 16

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Healthy Dwelling: Design of Biophilic Interior Environments Fostering Self-Care Practices for People Living with Migraines, Chronic Pain, and Depression.


The benefits of biophilic interior design have been recognized by healthcare facilities, but residential environments receive relatively less attention with respect to improving the health of people living with chronic diseases. Recent "stay-at-home" restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized the importance of creating interior spaces that directly and indirectly support physical and mental health. In this viewpoint article, we discuss opportunities for combining biophilic interventions with interior design, fostering disease-specific self-care. We provide examples of designing residential spaces integrating biophilic interventions, light therapy, relaxation opportunities, mindfulness meditation, listening to music, physical activities, aromatherapy, and quality sleep. These modalities can provide the clinical benefits of reducing migraine headaches and chronic pain, as well as improving depressive symptoms. The disease-specific interior environment can be incorporated into residential homes, workplaces, assisted-living residences, hospitals and hospital at home programs. This work aims to promote a cross-disciplinary dialogue towards combining biophilic design and advances in lifestyle medicine to create therapeutic interior environments and to improve healthcare outcomes.