Design Considerations to Improve The Health & Well-Being of School Children

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Parul Minhas , Karamjit Singh Chahal


Health is a prerequisite for all human pursuits. The environments in which we live, work, learn and play have a direct ­impact on our health. Yet, it is uncommon to ask architects and urban designers to include health promotion among their design criteria when they shape our built environments. This is especially true of the learning environment of schools in which our children spend most of their waking day. With the onset of a pandemic into a world already burdened with persistently rising lifestyle-related diseases, it is even more crucial to support our overstressed healthcare systems. Not only adults but even school children are prone to lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension, and depression, leading to the poor overall health of society. Even though life expectancy has increased in the past few decades, the quality of life and health are constantly deteriorating. Holistic health, or salutogenesis, is an approach that seeks a complete mind-body-spirit balance to maintain overall health and prevent diseases. Salutogenic design focuses on positive environmental interventions to promote salutogenesis and bridges the gap between architectural design, neuroscience, and psychology.
The aim of this paper is to identify the health promoting components of the built school environment through the lens of salutogenic design. It demonstrates how children’s experiences in salutogenic school environments could affect their ability to create positive emotions and experiences that may lead to a heightened sense of coherence and improved holistic health.

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