Study suggests lasting health benefits of retreat-like environments

The Setting: A one week wellness retreat in Queensland Australia, 2017.

The Program: Consistent sleep/wake routines. Mostly plant-based diet. Exercise, both vigorous and restorative. Optional spa treatments and information or counselling sessions. Nature walks. Removal of news and electronic media.

The Measurements: Anthropometric data, Food & Health questionnaire, the Five Factor Wellness Inventory, self-efficacy survey, insomnia, depression, anxiety, stress, mood and cognitive measurements. Guests were surveyed upon arrival, before departure and 6 weeks after the retreat.

The Findings: “Retreat experiences provide a unique opportunity for people to escape from unhealthy routines and engage in healthy practices and activities that lead to immediate and sustained health benefits.”

“The finding of statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements… suggests that an integrated lifestyle experience was effective in improving multiple dimensions of health and well-being.”

Wow, I feel good just reading about it!

We have access to the same design elements

You can benefit not only when you go to a retreat but at your own home, all the time, because custom home design can include many of the features that improve people’s wellness at these resorts

Some effective design elements include:

Biophilia. Our innate connection with nature that makes us feel grounded, alive. Bringing nature inside, designing views to nature outside.

Circadian rhythms, our natural sleep cycles. Can be restored through variable colour temperature LED lighting, dimmers, timers, and sensitive placement of windows. Using software such as “bedtime” app limitations.

Air quality. Filter out impurities, ensure adequate air changes, include openable windows, limit unwanted moisture and mold growth. Avoid hidden toxins in common building materials. (Read our blog post)

Water quality. Test for quality and filter out impurities. Treat with ultraviolet (UV) light to kill harmful bacteria.

Mindfulness. Designing environments with the right combination of colours, textures and materials to appeal to our minds and all our senses.

What you can do next

We can do all these things today. You have the choice. We have the ability. Our design team will ask the right questions and then design your home for your optimum well-being.

It starts with you making a conscious decision about wellness. Then setting some overall project goals and defining what exactly you want to achieve. And then committing to seeing it through to the end.

Are you ready for well-being at home?

(P.S. Read the complete study here)

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