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Whitepaper - 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?

Questions & Answers

Is the Coronavirus a unique disease?

No—Covid19 is one of many coronaviruses, which is a classification of viruses based upon their physical structure. They include other diseases such as colds, flus, SARS, H1N1 and others. Covid19 is unusual in recent history for the number of deaths but is a common structure.

Source:
John Hopkins Medicine, "What Is Coronavirus?"

COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

Will the vaccine solve the problem of Covid19?

Covid19 is one form of coronavirus, and coronaviruses evolve over time. For the same reason that the influenza vaccine is required each year, there may be a need to vaccinate against Covid19 each year until it evolves into something less dangerous. However, there will always be a risk of a new disease, so prevention and preparation remain the best option.

Source:
Monash University, "A medical blueprint for when the next coronavirus strikes"

What is 'wellness'?

‘Wellness’ is defined by consumers as being a mix of better health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. It is a more positive version of ‘health’ in that ‘health’ is seen as a default state where the individual must address negative problems (e.g. medicine), while ‘wellness’ is seen as something to strive for.

Source:
McKinsey & Company, "Feeling good: The future of the $1.5 trillion wellness market"

How does 'wellness' as a concept impact on our school, office, or other public workplace?

‘Wellness’—promoting positive health—benefits from a range of approaches. These can be natural and technological; passive and active; as well as inbuilt or added. A new building can include passive design that improves ventilation; a renovation can include better-designed handwashing facilities; installations can include monitors and sensors for temperature checks; and simple additions such as plants and air purifiers can be added at any time.

Source:
Human Resources Online, "The evolution of the office: Key concepts for the future workplace"

MIT News, "A method to assess Covid-19 transmission risks in indoor settings"

Should we remain ever-vigilant against disease in our 'new normal'?

Counterintuitively it is not necessarily good for mental health to focus on the dangers in the environment. For example, we wash our hands before eating for cleanliness but do not imagine the germs on our hands when doing so. This is because being aware of stressful possibilities releases stress hormones which are themselves can become a health burden long-term. A ‘new normal’ based on behaviour and background design will be more successful at creating long-term habits.

Source:
Harvard Health Publishing, "Understanding the stress response Chronic activation of this survival mechanism impairs health"

How can wellness products be beneficial in the...?

Home

Homes can be kept clean and healthy by individual families but are also hubs of cross contamination between workplaces, schools, and other homes through exposure outside the home. Along with clean surfaces, cleaner air can help limit the risk of cross-contamination.

Healthcare Facility

Medical offices have high risk of cross-contamination between patients met by strong processes to manage health risks. Managing the risk of airborne diseases is a newer opportunity for medical staff to protect themselves and patients by keeping the air clean too.

Workplace

Workplaces have a strong capacity to manage health risks using a mix of technologies and policies, but care needs to be taken to manage expectations and the perceived dignity of employers and visitors.

Store

Businesses in enclosed spaces must contend with a range of challenges in their environments that encompass the worst of all worlds—those with poor personal hygiene, cross-contamination hubs, workforce who can be impacted by disease spread, and a limit on the ability to manage disease. Keeping the surface and ambient environment clean is the second front to the first front: identifying the risks before they enter.

School

Schools are a special environment. Children have developing immunity but also are strong. At the same time, their breath aerosol is less than adults. They have undeveloped hygiene habits such as washing hands and covering sneezes. As a result, the environmental health requirements of schools need to balance the development of immunity, the development of healthy practices, and the potential for infection spreading in the environment.

Bibliography

  • Title: 2021 Global Health Care Outlook

    SourceDeloitte

    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.

    SourceDeakin 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

    SourceBoston 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

    SourceDeakin 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?

    SourceBain & 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

    SourceMonash 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

    SourcePLoS 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

    SourceJournal 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

    SourceSSRN: 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

    SourceScience 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

    SourceHERD: 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.

Full bibliography

Benesty, J., Gopalka, A., Lamiaux, M., Larson, J., & Stroman, T. (2021, Jan 21).Reimagining global health after the coronavirus. Boston Consulting Group.

Butje, A., Repede, E., & Shattell, M. (2008). Healing scents: An overview of clinical aromatherapy for emotional distress. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 46(10): 46-52.

Carpintero, A., Foster, T., Makarova, E., & Telpis, V. (2021, Jan 25).Smart quality: reimagining the way quality works. McKinsey & Company.

D’Arpizio, C., Levato, F., Prete, F., Gault, C., & de Montgolfier, J. (2021, Jan 14).The future of luxury: bouncing back from covid-19. Bain & Company.

Deakin University. (2021, Jan 25).Tips to help managers support staff transition from the virtual to the physical workplace. Media release.

Gottfredson, M., O’Keeffe, Dunigan, & Karna, Rajiv. (2020, Dec 3).Covid-19 has upended business. Which trends will stick?Bain & Company.

International Labor Organization. (2021, Feb 12).Protect the mental health of health and care workers in the covid-19 pandemic.Multimedia.

Kim, M.Y., Jung, Y.G., Park, J.C., & Yang, Y.K. (2021).The impact of airflow and air purification on the resuspension and removal of deposited particulate matter. Journal of Building Engineering.

Lavoie, B., Cook, K., Chalei, V., Warren, J., Rosenberg, B, & Akbar, A. (2021, Feb 5).The four big misconceptions about coronavirus testing. Boston Consulting Group.

Levy, D.L. (2000).Applications and Limitations of Complexity Theory in Organization Theory and Strategy. Computer science.

Marin, D. (2021, Feb 10).Will covid accelerate productivity growth?Bruegel.

Marin, M., Li, Y., Berry, D., & Hipolito, A. (2021, Feb 10).Adapting forecast models for a prolonged crisis. Bain & Company.

Marshall, D. (2021, Feb 10).Global meta-analysis identifies comorbid conditions linked to covid-19 mortality. Griffith University.

McCluskey, N. (2021, Feb 9).Confirmed: Private schools are suffering under covid-19. Cato Institute.

Monash University. (2021, Jan 27).Building bacteria barriers: Why our office spaces might not be as safe as we think.

Murbe, D., Kriegel, M., Lange, J., Schumann, L., Hartmann, A., & Fleischer, M. (2021, Feb 10).Aerosol emission of adolescents’ voices during speaking, singing and shouting. PLoS ONE.

Oetzel, J., & Oh, C.H. (2021).A storm is brewing: antecedents of disaster preparation in risk prone locations. Strategic Management Journal.

Pham, K., & Badger, D. (2021, Feb 12).Did the CDC really say we need to wear two masks? Here’s what you need to know about double-masking. Heritage Foundation, The.

Raj, M., De Vries, R., Nong, P., Kardia, S.L.R., & Platt, J.E. (2020).Do people have an ethical obligation to share their health information? Comparing narratives of altruism and health information in a nationally representative sample. PLoS ONE.

Singh, N. (2021, Feb 9).The next phase of covid-19 is a battle we can win. McKinsey & Company.

Galehouse, M. (2020, May 4).Taking your temperature with a thermal scanner, through COVID-19 and beyond. Texas Medical Center.

UN News. (2021, Feb 12).‘Constellation’ of post-covid symptoms will impact global healthcare, says WHO. Media release.

University of Cambridge. (2020, Dec 21).One in three adults drank more alcohol during first lockdown.

University of Cambridge. (2021, Feb 11).Proper fit of face masks is more important than material, study suggests.

University of Rochester. (n.d.).Air Filters, Dehumidifiers, and Humidifiers. Health Encyclopaedia.

Volini, E., Hatfield, S., Scoble-Williams, N. (2021).From survive to thrive: the future of work in a post-pandemic world. Report. Deloitte.

Yang, X., Wang, Q., Han, F., Dong, B., Wen, B., Li, L., Ruan, H., Zhang, S. Et al. (2021).Pulmonary benefits of intervention with HEPA air purifier in schoolchildren: a double-blind crossover study. SSRN: Preprints with The Lancet.

Yuan, Z., Ye, Z., & Zhong, M. (2021).Plug back into work, safely: Job reattachment, leader safety commitment, and job engagement in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Applied Psychology, 106(1), 62-70.

Zacharias, N., Haag, A., Brang-Lamprecht, R., Gebel, J., Essert, S.M., Kistemann, T., Exner, M., Mutters, N.T., & Engelhart, S. (2021).Air filtration as a tool for the reduction of viral aerosols. Science of The Total Environment. 772.