Home innovations that will improve your health
According to a study by Delos, a wellness-design innovations company, we spend 90% of our time indoors, with two-thirds of that time spent at home. Due to the current, global health situation, we're occupying our residential spaces even more. Because of that, it's vital our homes promote our health and overall wellbeing. In this blog, we'll cover the most important elements to focus on inside your home, while also providing healthy solutions to improve the quality of your space.
We typically think of air pollutants existing outdoors, but research shows concentrations of allergins, toxins, and pollutants can be up to five times higher indoors. Poor air quality can greatly impact our health. While short-term effects include respiratory irritation, long-term adverse effects include increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung cancers, and other respiratory issues. Therefore, the level of air pollutants in our everyday spaces is vitally important.
Thankfully, a movement of wellness-inspired design solutions has swept over the design community. While we're all familiar with air purifiers and their function, the technology has rapidly advanced in sophistication and sleekness. Samsung's Cube Air Purifier, for example, uses a laser-monitoring system to provide real-time air quality measurements. Always reading the room's conditions, it adapts to and improves the air in its given space.
It's true that Americans benefit from better-quality drinking water than other countries. Our water treatment infrastructure, however, is aging and deteriorating, leading it to receive a grade "D" by the American Society of Civil Engineers in their most recent report. Additionally, the EPA has estimated that US water infrastructure needs over $734 billion in improvements.
As our systems break down, water contaminants increase. In just the past five years, nearly 77 million Americans lived in communities whose water systems violated at least one Safe Drinking Water Act rule, with over 88,000 total violations.
To help people take control of their water contaminant levels, many companies are offering professional-grade water filtration systems. Brondell, for example, offers an under-the-counter reverse osmosis (RO) water filter system that features a four-step filtering process that's 10x more efficient than typical RO systems. Award-winning Australian company, Zip, has developed a tap-system that provides instant purified chilled, boiling, and sparkling water.
Working or studying from home doesn't necessarily mean you'll be spending more time inside. However, with many businesses closing to accommodate social distancing, the need or reason to leave one's home has decreased. This could, indirectly, cause people to stay indoors more than usual. With that in mind, we need to be aware of our space's quality of light.
As discussed in a previous blog, lighting has a huge impact on our overall wellbeing. It affects our sleep patterns, our mood, our stress levels. That's why it's essential our inside spaces receive as much natural light — or light mimicking natural conditions — as possible during this time.
Top-of-the-line, smart home light integrations — like Delos's Darwin circadian lighting and Ketra's human-centric dynamic lights — mirror natural light patterns. These do require more advanced installations (and we highly recommend them for future projects), but the Eria smart lightbulb kit can be implemented right away. As featured in our Healthy Design: Lighting blog, this smart kit allows users to activate a circadian light setting and the Color Rendering Index (CRI) of these bulbs is 90+. (CRI measures the color an object looks under artificial light in contrast to natural light, with a 90+ rating deemed as "excellent" light.)
By now, we've probably all given our homes a scrub down (or two) and we're definitely more conscious about the surfaces we touch when arriving home. With that said, many of us will neglect cleaning the cleaning tools themselves, leaving us exposed to unwanted contaminants. For that reason, we recommend touchless cleaning solutions.
Typically, we don't think of touchless hand dryers or paper towel dispensers in the home. In fact, touchless soap dispensers just recently joined hand-sensor trashcans as semi-common household products. Appliances like these, however, can make all the difference when trying to keep a sanitized home.
Robot vacuums and mops can also be great solutions. Our daily habits and cleaning routine have already changed so much, so if there's a tool out there that can operate on a consistent schedule (giving you one less thing to think about) take advantage of it!
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HEALTHY DESIGN: CLEANING SUPPLIES BLOG!
As stated earlier, we spend 90% of our lives inside, and 66% of that time at home. So no matter the situation, it's important your home promotes healthiness. If it seems like too many solutions to implement on your own, no worries! We're here to help.