Designing Spaces To Fight Obesity

In an attempt to compel a "captive" audience to become more physically active, architects are responding to clients' desires to include opportunities for exercize in the buildings' designs.

"Buildings have long been designed so people can get from one place to another with minimum physical effort. Now, in a bid to fight a rising tide of obesity, companies, universities and other institutions are embracing the opposite idea: buildings that force employees to move around a lot more.

...Health-related design has growing appeal for some of the biggest users of real estate -- companies that rent office space."

[Editor's note: The link below is available to non-subscribers for a period of 7 days.]

Thanks to Alex Pearlstein

Full Story: New Buildings Help People Fight Flab



Health and Architecture – Operative Remedy

Function and Form are always the most important elements of Architectural Design. Form following the Function or Function following the Form was always subject matter choices. Designing for ease and comfort of users was always measured pinnacle superiority and the zeal of constructing environment friendly buildings for better health systems can be considered as an age long process. This is how use of elevators and escalators replaced age old staircases and walkways.Today when obesity is becoming a colossal problem with people suffering form high blood pressure and heart related diseases, building spaces for health workout is indeed a very effective solution in fighting obesity. Thus staircases and long circulation spaces can act as health conscious design elements in architecture for healthy and physically fit people.

Irvin Dawid's picture

elevator or stairs?

With all due respect to health researchers and "human-movement scientists", I'll take a fast elevator over most stairs anytime. Then again, I have yet to see "beautifully designed stairs". But why make the elevators slower?
That's like slowing down public transit to encourage walking...isn't that what these conveniences were 'designed' to do?
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA
ps: my biggest beef: SLOWWW Elevators, ughh!

Designed to discourage excercise

Our studio space in college was located on the top floor (4th floor) of a relatively modern building. When you entered the building, the elevators stood front and center, beckoning. Though the elevators were pretty slow, most everybody used them, because the stairs were hidden away in the back. Even people moving up only one floor would use the elevators. That's because the stairs were designed to be fire stairs rather than a regular staircase. From the hall, the door to the stairway made it look like a closet. I often forgot the stairs were even there. It wasn't until my junior year, when I gave up elevators for Lent, that I finally broke the habit of taking the elevator.

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