Indoor climate and well-being
Interior design

Impact of Natural Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings

May 10, 2022

After many years of research, there is no doubting that exposure to nature has a favourable impact on health, wellness, and general pleasure – even to the point where green areas promote prosocial behaviour. In this article, we focus on the importance of natural light on outcomes in healthcare settings.

Rockfon Eclipse used in a Hospital to draw in more natural light

Rockfon Eclipse in Morriston Hospital, UK

The interior design of your healthcare building has the potential to substantially improve a patient's visit. You can utilise it to alleviate stress and encourage relaxation in a variety of ways, even if it's as simple as changing the decoration in waiting areas.  

Biophilic Design in Hospitals 

Often, a potted plant on a plastic laminate counter is used to simulate "nature" in healthcare facilities. Hospital trusts should consider the potential saving of $93 million [1] in annual healthcare costs by giving patients access to nature through views of the outdoors. Natural textures should also be used in hospital interiors because in biophilic environments, post-operative recovery time decreased by 8.5% [1] and pain medication decreased by 22% [2]

Biophilic design ideas are used in healthcare facilities to improve patient outcomes and reduce staff stress. Healthcare designers may make hospitals more comfortable by making basic choices — such as employing more natural building materials or incorporating more natural lighting. 

Karolinska hospital, sweden, hospital, healthcare, karolinska, sverige
Bar Chart - Natural Light in Hospital

What Does Biophilic Design Mean in Health Centres? 

Several studies have found that biophilic design reduces anxiety and so improves sleep. The many advantages of having a biophilic design in hospitals and health care facilities include: 

  • Good ventilation means less spread of infectious illness, whilst fresh air reduces stress. 
  • Sound-absorbing materials minimise noise levels, reduce distractions and errors, and reduce tiredness in both personnel and patients. 
  • Optimised natural light reduces the length of hospital stays as well as levels of pain, depression, weariness, and the need for medicine. 
  • A connection to nature or natural elements improves emotional well-being. 
  • Indoor gardens encourage more social contact. 
  • The use of natural materials improves the comfort and pleasantness of the hospital environment. 
Deventer Ziekenhuis (Hospital). MediCare
Patient, nurse, doctor, hospital, healthcare
Fremtidens Plejehjem, Denmark, Nørresundby, 2500 m2, Nørkær+Poulsen og Østergaard Arkitekter, Svend Christensen, Sonar, X-edge, 600 x 600 x 22, White