Wellness as a Strategy

Wellness is a balancing act. We need to weigh up and balance the risks and rewards; our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing; our personal, familial, and career wellbeing; and our homes, schools, and workplaces.

 This collection of briefings and resources will help you navigate this complex subject. History is marked with major health advances, from sewage systems to clean water to food service hygiene.

So, what can these teach us about the next phase: clean air?

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Questions & Answers


Title: 2021 Global Health Care Outlook
Source: Deloitte
Key Phrases: Health journey, digital tools, consumer satisfaction, health monitoring, data sharing, trust, empathy
Summary: A number of foundational shifts are arising from and being exacerbated by COVID-19’s spread. Examples include consumers’ increasing involvement in health care decision-making; the rapid adoption of virtual health and other digital innovations; the push for interoperable data and data analytics use; and unprecedented public-private collaborations in vaccine and therapeutics development. The long-held assumption that health care is “sick care” for the physical body is expanding to include consumers’ mind, spirit, and body.

Title: App-based exercise becomes answer to fitness woes during lockdown.
Source: Deakin University
Key Phrases: Fitness, health apps, virtual classes
Summary: A national study into how people maintained their physical activity during last year's pandemic restrictions has revealed digital platforms are an effective way to help people stay fit when access to other forms of organised exercise is restricted. The Australian study of 1188 adults and 963 adolescents during the first national lock-down last year confirmed that digital platforms can play a critical role in supporting physical activity when more traditional services such as gyms, personal trainers and fitness studios are closed or have reduced capacity. 39 per cent of adults used digital platforms and they were more than twice as likely to meet the moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity guidelines set by the World Health Organization and the Australian Government, and more than three times more likely to meet the muscle strengthening guidelines.

Title: Reimagining global health after the coronavirus
Source: Boston Consulting Group
Key Phrases: Behavioural change, data-driven healthcare
Summary: What has worked, what can be improved, and what needs to be reimagined so that we are better prepared for the next pandemic and better able to improve health in the world’s poorest nations? COVID-19 has cast a spotlight on four broad opportunities: simplifying access and delivery; bringing data-driven global health care to life; changing behaviour to improve health; and creating sustainable and joined-up sources of development funding.

Title: Tips to help managers support staff transition from the virtual to the physical workplace
Source: Deakin University
Key Phrases: Mental health, workplace transition 
Summary: Research has shown that nearly 40 per cent of employees reported high or very high psychological distress during the pandemic. Organisational psychology research showed that managers and leaders most likely to be successful at transitioning people back to on-site work will be supportive, collaborative, respectful, and trustworthy.

Title: Covid-19 has upended business. Which trends will stick?
Source: Bain & Co 
Key Phrases: Workplace transition, telecommuting 
Summary: Businesses can use four tools to forecast the turning point for new technologies and trends. Nearly 60% of people using videoconferencing today plan to use it just as much or more after the pandemic is over. More than 60% percent of consumers expect to maintain or increase the use of food delivery platforms post–Covid-19. Before Covid-19, only 5% of working days were spent at home. A recent Stanford University study estimated that 42% of the US labour force is working full time from home. After the pandemic, that number is likely to return to 20%. A survey by Moody’s shows 35% of businesses plan to reduce office space in the future and none plan an increase. Similarly, the vacancy rates of commercial real estate buildings could rise as high as 19.8% by 2023.

Title: Building bacteria barriers: why our office spaces might not be as safe as we think
Source: Monash University
Key Phrases: Air quality, workplace transition 
Summary: The National Construction Code (NCC) – a legally enforceable and technical document that sets the minimum acceptable standards for new building and construction work across Australia – binds builders and building owners to the responsibilities they hold in providing a safe workspace. Although the code was not developed based on pandemic scenarios, the NCC prescribes the ventilation criteria that must be met by building designers to assure adequate indoor air quality. If air-conditioning filters have not been upgraded over the shutdown, organisational staff are at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease from airborne pathogens spreading through mist produced by the units. The additional heat burden associated with wearing masks, inadequate air conditioning owing to the changes in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) required by COVID control, and increased physical activities due to extra workload and social distancing are contributing factors to the elevated heat risk. Upgrading air filters and increasing fresh air intake of HVAC systems were among the recommended actions to reduce potential for spread of airborne pathogens, limit potential for mould growth inside buildings, and keep workers safe.

Title: Aerosol emission of adolescents’ voices during speaking, singing, and shouting
Source: PLoS ONE
Key Phrases: Aerosol emission, transmission 
Summary: Adolescents emit fewer aerosol particles during singing than what has been known so far for adults. In the study, the emission rates ranged from 16 P/s for 267 P/s for speaking; 141 P/s to 1240 P/s for singing; and 683 P/s to 4332 P/s for shouting.

Title: The impact of airflow and air purification on the resuspension and removal of deposited particulate matter
Source: Journal of Building Engineering
Key Phrases: Air quality
Summary: Air purifiers are a popular tool to manage indoor particulate matter. Air purifiers contribute to particulate matter resuspension and removal, and the efficiency is significantly improved when paired with ventilation and positioning the airflow.

Title: Pulmonary benefits of intervention with HEPA air purifier in schoolchildren: a double-blind crossover study
Source: SSRN: Preprints with The Lancet
Key Phrases: Air quality
Summary: In this study, air purifier intervention was associated with a 13.29% decrease in runny nose, 11.05% decrease in FeNO, 12.03% decrease in EBC IL-1β, and 4.2% decrease in IL-6. The patterns of associations with each 10 µg/m3 decrease in the PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 concentrations were consistent with those for filter intervention. Moreover, lower PM2.5 and PM1 were associated with lower EBC MCP-1, 5.47% and 13.56%, respectively. The pulmonary function indices were negatively associated with the intervention and PM. These findings suggested that air purifiers have a protective effect on children’s respiratory system.

Title: Air filtration as a tool for the reduction of viral aerosols
Source: Science of the Total Environment
Key Phrases: Air quality
Summary: The use of bacteriophages (phiX174 phages) is a method to test the efficiency of air purification devices under experimental conditions. Using air purifiers with a HEPA filter H14, a 4.6–6.1 Log reduction of test viruses can be achieved if bacteriophages are directly aerosolised into the air purifier, which corresponds to a reduction of 99.9974–99.9999%. Using the air purifier at a setting of 1000 m3/h, the concentration of the phiX174 phages in the air could be reduced by 2.86 Log (mean value). Nevertheless, the experiments without the air purifier showed a similar reduction rate of 2.61 Log (mean value) after 35 min. The concentration of phiX174 phages in the air could be additionally reduced up to 1 log step (maximum value) using the air purifier in comparison to the experiments without. Distance was shown to be an important factor for risk reduction.

Title: Ambient scent as a positive distraction in long-term care units: Theory of Supportive Design
Source: HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal
Key Phrases: Air quality
Summary: This study was designed to explore the associations between an ambient scent environment and residents’ wellness in long-term care facilities. The theory of supportive design suggests healthcare facilities can lower people’s stress levels via three conditions (i.e., perceived control, social support, and positive distractions). Despite a placebo effect of ambient scent environment and nonsignificant built environment on depression, this study has valuable implications of being a positive distraction during the healing process as developed by the Theory of Supportive design.