Artwork is becoming an important element in designing healthcare and work environments. Studies have shown that incorporating art into stressful environments like emergency department waiting rooms and busy offices can have a calming effect. In hospitals, it can improve the waiting experience and reduce stress for patients and staff. In offices and work spaces, incorporating art and plants into the design can actually improve productivity. New studies show the benefits of art in the workplace and in healthcare facilities, promoting healing and productivity.
Artwork and stress reduction
Art has many functions, among them reducing stress and creating a calming and harmonious environment. While we are all familiar with the idea of using artwork for aesthetic and other purposes in homes, restaurants and other public spaces, the benefits of art in the workplace and in healthcare design are just being discovered.
Researchers have found that looking at art can reduce stress and anxiety. In a study at an art gallery, visitors were asked to report their stress levels before entering. They spent 35 minutes in the gallery, in any way they wished, and on leaving, reported feeling less stressed. Physical tests confirmed their assessment, as they had lower concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol on leaving than they had on entering.
Artwork for hospitals and healthcare design
Studies like the one described above have important implications in the fields of healthcare and office design. Hospitals and particularly emergency rooms are highly stressful places for both patients and staff. Researchers have found that restorative art images can not only decrease stress, but also reduce the perception of pain, speed recovery and improve healing outcomes.
Staff and patients agree that the presence of hospital art lifts everyone?s mood, improves the quality care and healing and overall creates a positive outlook. The Cleveland Clinic has a contemporary art collection that includes fine art posters, public sculptures, nature images and abstract designs, all created within the past 30 years. These are on display throughout the buildings and a recent patient survey found that over 60% experienced a reduction in stress levels on viewing the artwork.
Benefits of art in the workplace
Art in the workplace is likewise instrumental in reducing stress and improving productivity. Workplaces that are enriched and decorated with art or plants see a 17% improvement in worker productivity over bare spaces. Art in the workplace also helps to meet challenges like increasing creativity and encouraging employees to express their opinions.
In general, workers feel happier and more in control if they can decorate and personalize their workspace. They also feel that art in the workplace makes it a more welcoming environment. As well as reducing workplace stress, artwork boosts productivity and employee morale.
The benefits of art in the workplace and in healthcare design are being more widely recognized. Art has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress and promote a positive outlook. This translates to better care and recovery in healthcare environments and higher productivity in the workplace.