Two of the most important influences of wellbeing are lighting and light. Undoubtedly our connection to our surroundings and the earth itself can influence our behavioural patterns and mood. Most people typically spend between seven and 12 hours indoors working each day and this can have significant repercussions on wellbeing if the right environment is not present. We are naturally and subliminally tuned into the earth’s cycle and respond to the way the sun is affecting the earth. When you’re in an office all day, you can miss out on the sun’s path, which can result in effects similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Our body clock responds to disruptions in the natural cycle of light, impacting both mood and productivity. The good news is that technology is adapting quickly to eliminate these negative effects, with more companies investing in modifying their products to provide a healthier user experience. For example, most phone and tablet screens now adjust their screen brightness and colour in relation to the time of day.
More modern and wellbeing-focused offices, like Gymshark HQ, created by Oktra, will invest in adaptable, human-centric lighting systems that mimic the sun’s natural cycle. This can help with SAD effects and will also provide a cost-effective solution to energy waste, as the system identifies patterns of where activity usually takes place and focuses the light in these areas. Similarly, our new office features a lower ground floor level, which has no windows or access to natural light. This is a great opportunity for us to engage with advanced tech that is centred around wellbeing; we want to construct false windows, complete with the natural light cycle and even a view of our choosing. With this equipment we can create an accurate illusion of daylight so that people are unaware that it is an imitation.
Research has identified positive brain reactions to blue light, which makes us more alert and productive. If we can maximise the hours of blue light through technology, we can impact work patterns and rest time, which are connected to wellbeing.