"Indoor life" has negative impacts on our well-being.
The aforementioned study, which surveyed around 16,000 people across 14 countries in North America and Europe, found a pronounced disparity between how much time people think they’re spending inside versus the reality of how many hours a day are actually spent indoors. (YouGov)
Previous research has found that around 90 percent of people spend close to 22 hours inside every day. (YouGov)
A full 39 percent of survey respondents said that daylight significantly impacts their mood. (YouGov)
In the US, kids between ages 8 and 12 spend an average of 4 to 6 hours per day looking at screens, while teenagers may spend as much as 9 hours per day. Adults in the US spend even more time on screens – on average just over 10.5 hours each day. (YouGov)
Excessive dependence on electronic products may lead to psychological or mental disorders
"On days when adolescents used digital devices more, they had difficulty paying attention and exhibited attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
Young adolescents who spent more time online experienced increases in conduct problems and problems with self-regulation -- the ability to control one’s behavior and emotions -- 18 months later". (Alison, DukeEdu)
Overexposure to blue light waves come from fluorescent and LED lights and back-lit electronic screens on televisions, computers, tablets, and cell phones will cause suppression of melatonin, emotional disturbance, and lead to insomnia. (CDC)
The concept of prevention and promotion in mental health (CDC)
Preventive strategies need to be implemented at specific periods before the onset of the mental disorder, in order to be maximally effective
Strategies for mental health promotion are related to improving the quality of life and potential for health rather than amelioration of symptoms and deficits. These should be recognized, not as strategies for tertiary prevention but as mental health promotion in its most positive sense (Secker, 1998)
1. The proliferation of digital technologies and "indoor life" are disrupting people's mood and circadian rhythm, and leading to increases in mental health issues, conduct problems, and self-regulation problems. Prospective consumers will be looking for methods to protect themselves from the harms of technologies, prevent mental health issues, and improve their mental well-being without changing their routines.
2. Most mental health issues started with emotional disturbance. Methods that promote moods might help alleviate emotional disturbance and prevent the development of mental issues.
3. Modernized products are depriving our perception of time. Bringing back the sensation of time is essential for better time management, routine, and work habits.
Color light's impact on our brain: Key findings
Blue light is beneficial during the daytime because it refreshes our mind, helps us wake up and concentrate, and lifts our moods up. However, over-exposure to blue and green wavelengths will significantly suppress the production of melatonin which will lead to insomnia and even worse like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Dim red light has less effect on shifting our circadian and suppression of melatonin. (Harvard Health Publishing)
Yellow light is proven to be effective in filtering blue wavelengths and protect our retina. It also can stimulate our metabolism. Orange light can bring happiness, boost creativity, and also helps filter out blue light.
Purple light can help us fall asleep and reduce emotional and mental stress. (dmlights)
Using the right amount of colored lights according to the work and rest of the day will help to calibrate the circadian rhythm and improve our mental health.
Creative Wizards (Innovators)
Attributes: Creative, persistent, hardworking, insightful, productive
Primary occupation: digital technologist, biotech scientist, doctor, entrepreneur, principal designer, writer, digital artist
Interest: Cutting-edge technologies, innovations, robot, VR/AR/MR, biotech,
Lack of time to spend outdoor;
Stress to meet the deadlines;
Lack of plans and methods to calibrate circadian rhythm, High living expense, Fast living pace
Needs: Improvement on productivity, boost on creativity, mental healthcare, well-being.
Aspiration: More free time to spend with friends and family, more control over mind such as the release of mental stress.
Workaholic Dreamers (Early Adopter)
Attributes: Diligent, critical thinking, forward-looking, determined
Primary Occupation: Software engineer, designer, content creator, teacher, project manager
Interest: Innovations, digital tools that improve productivity, new friends, meditation, sports, games.
Work-life imbalance; Stress to tests, papers, and social networking; Lack of plans and methods to calibrate circadian rhythm,
Needs: Confidence, productivity, positive mood, and energetic lifestyle.
Aspiration: Work smart and play hard.
Age: 30 years old
Occupation: Entertaiment technologist/ Game designer
Interest: the next generation of the user interface, the virtual world in digital games or virtual reality, Multi-sensory stimulation and augmentation, social media
Pain points: excessive screen time, lack of perception of time, work-family imbalance, stress to lead a team and to make innovative solutions to new challenges
Needs: Products and services to alleviate or remedy eyestrain, anxiety, insomnia, promote perception of time indoor and mental wellbeing, and improve productivity.
"I enjoy working and living with technologies because it improves our productivity and brings us engaging, intuitive, and convenient experiences. However, I realize this symbiotic lifestyle also disrupts our circadian, makes me procrastinate, drives me anxious sometimes, and deprives my sense of time. It is ambivalent about reducing the time spent in front of the screens because we greatly rely on them to perform our jobs, connect with people, and entertain. I wish there were an ancillary product that could protect us from overexposure to harmful lighting, help our biological clock get in sync with the natural rhythm, and improve our mental health, so I don't need to change my routine."
PASSAGE is a therapeutic lighting product that helps people get away from digital fatigue, improves mental wellbeing, and cultivates a disciplinary and productive routine through an unobtrusive and visceral atmosphere.
It stands by the users and gradually improves their mood and mental energy by rendering the surrounding atmosphere.
Improve the sense of time, inform the passage of time through sensory experiences like the change in light and shadow, and white noise.
Bring back the power of nature
Nature can bring people back to the present and stimulate self-awareness. What if my design can bring in nature? Would it have the same impact on our mental state?
Harvard Health. “Blue Light Has a Dark Side,” May 1, 2012. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side.
Mental Health America. “How Blue Light Affects Mental Health.” Accessed June 5, 2021. https://mhanational.org/blog/how-blue-light-affects-mental-health.
East West Eye Institute. “How Different Colored Light Affects Our Eyes,” October 21, 2014. https://eastwesteye.com/different-colored-light-affects-eyes/.
“Impact of Light on Outcomes in Healthcare Settings | The Center for Health Design.” Accessed June 9, 2021. https://www.healthdesign.org/chd/research/impact-light-outcomes-healthcare-settings.
“Mental Disorders.” Accessed June 14, 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders.
Metz, A. J., S. D. Klein, F. Scholkmann, and U. Wolf. “Continuous Coloured Light Altered Human Brain Haemodynamics and Oxygenation Assessed by Systemic Physiology Augmented Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.” Scientific Reports 7, no. 1 (August 30, 2017): 10027. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-09970-z.
“More Technology Use Linked to Mental Health Issues in At-Risk Adolescents.” Accessed June 14, 2021. https://today.duke.edu/2017/05/more-technology-use-linked-mental-health-issues-risk-adolescents.
“Negative Effects of Technology: Psychological, Social, and Health,” February 25, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/negative-effects-of-technology.
Organization, World Health. Prevention of Mental Disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2004. https://public.ebookcentral.proquest.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=4978589.
“The Color of the Light Affects the Circadian Rhythms, Cont. | NIOSH | CDC,” April 1, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/longhourstraining/color_cont.html.
dmLights Blog. “The Effect Of Coloured Light On The Human Body,” June 19, 2013. https://www.dmlights.com/blog/effect-coloured-light-on-human-body/.
“The Effects of Technology on Mental Health (& Simple Tips to Optimize Its Use).” Accessed June 20, 2021. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-effects-of-technology-on-mental-health/.
Walden, Stephanie. “Story from VELUX: The ‘Indoor Generation’ and the Health Risks of Spending More Time Inside.” USA TODAY. Accessed June 7, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sponsor-story/velux/2018/05/15/indoor-generation-and-health-risks-spending-more-time-inside/610289002/.