A bespoke orangery is the perfect way to link the inside of your home with the outdoor environment. The abundance of glazing creates a bright and airy space that can be utilised for various purposes. Not only are these structures ideal for practical uses, but they are also beneficial for both your physical and mental health.
Nature and your health
It’s well known that being out in nature has positive effects on our health. Feeling connected to nature can generate a multitude of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy and creativity, as well as facilitate concentration, but it can often be difficult to maintain on a regular basis, especially throughout the wetter and colder months. Many people experience a change in mood related to the season, and more serious cases can develop into seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that follows a seasonal pattern, usually occurring during the winter.
In a study conducted by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, researchers found that spending 120 minutes per week in nature had positive benefits to people’s health, mentally, physically and emotionally, as well as strong effects on cognitive functioning. Sunlight is linked to increased serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a positive impact on mood and mental well-being, as well as helping your body naturally regulate melatonin, lowering your stress reactivity. Exposure to the sun is also crucial for vitamin D production, which helps maintain strong bones and regulates the immune system, and regular exposure to natural light during the day and a darker environment at night can enhance your circadian rhythm (the internal body clock), aiding better sleep quality.
The practice of forest bathing, a form of nature therapy used as a preventative health measure and a technique of relaxation, dates back to the early 1980s, originating in Japan where it is known as ‘shinrin-yoku’. The idea of forest bathing is to spend some quiet time in the outdoors (traditionally, a forest), taking the time to really see, hear, smell and feel the natural world around you and your connection to it. This practice isn’t entirely new, as various cultures have long recognised the importance of nature to human health.
Being close to nature can have so much of a positive impact on mental and physical health that Natural England estimated the NHS could save £2.1 billion every year if people had easy access to green spaces. Doctors in the UK even began ‘green prescribing’ as a response to the mental health implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Green prescribing is the use of nature-based activities for improving health. It’s understood that encouraging people to spend more time in nature can be just as, if not more, effective than pharmaceutical solutions for a range of ailments.
The benefits of biophilic design
Biophilia is defined as the innate human inclination to seek connections to nature and other living organisms. It’s deeply rooted in our species as an emotional and biological need to seek and maintain contact with nature and strive towards anything that evokes a sense of the beauty of the natural world. A report by the Mental Health Foundation found that connectivity to nature can be made even without leaving the home, through means of private gardens, indoor plants, window boxes and even watching nature documentaries.
No matter how you chose to purpose your orangery, biophilic design elements can be incorporated to reap the positive benefits of connectivity to nature. Having live plants indoors can help improve air quality, as well as help to reduce stress levels, sharpen your focus and boost both productivity and creativity.
Live plants are not the only way to obtain the wellness benefits of biophilic design. Opting for natural colours, shapes and patterns when selecting paint or wallpaper, furniture, accessories and art is a great way to incorporate biophilic elements into your orangery.
Perhaps health and wellbeing reasons are the perfect excuse you need to progress your orangery plans? If so, get in touch with us today.