An international panel of experts will assess the health benefits of various types of interiors in new research published in The Lancet.
The Lancet is the official medical journal of the Royal College of Physicians and the World Health Organization, which issued a statement on Wednesday saying the findings of the new study are “inconsistent with the widespread belief that all interiors should be designed with respect to their health impact.”
The statement said the results also show that “the current global interiors are not meeting the current needs of modern societies and that the current interiors have been ‘adapted’ in order to meet their needs.”
Researchers from the World Bank, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning (IACUOP) have all published papers over the past few years that show that interiors can have a positive impact on health, with a particular focus on reducing the impact of chronic disease.
The Lancet team says it has examined all of the evidence on interiors to find the most relevant ones for modern urban living.
“We believe that the most appropriate interiors for modern cities are those that have been designed with the intention of reducing or even eliminating the impact on their environment of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis and obesity,” the study’s lead author, David Cavanagh, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said in a statement.
The study found that the optimal interiors were those that are: “designed with a view to preserving the natural state of the environment and to reduce environmental pollution.”
The authors also pointed out that in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta and Shanghai, which all have high populations of chronic illness, the health of the residents is often compromised because of overcrowding and poor sanitation.
“If the building is designed to support the health and well-being of the population, the quality of life of the people living there is likely to be improved, but at the same time it may also reduce the overall health and quality of living of the whole population,” the authors wrote.
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