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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH Maria Auxiliadora Rocha Ferreira Caldas – Architect


Ergonomic landscaping: reducing worker stress


Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical and biological factors external to a person. It is comprised of up to 120 different types of activity performed at the same time. In a hospital environment from various professionals, porters, janitors, engineers and administrators, in addition to nurses and surgeons.1


Such an environment, which is often the scene of much tension and suffering, can cause stress in those who work there. Within the hospital environment, therefore, a restorative environment is also required, one that is different from the environment in which routine activities are executed, where, according to Constantino2


“it is possible to


experience a sense of wellbeing ... promoting opportunities for relaxation that assist in the restoration of body and mind”.


According to Minaki and Amorim,3 environmental quality is closely related to quality of life, which includes the existence of healthy conditions in the environment – in human, social and ecological terms – obtained together in a particular location. It is understood that worker’s health will depend as much on how the work environment affects their health as the way that they lead their lives.4 The built environment has grown out of man’s interaction with the natural environment because of a need for protection from the elements. Urbanisation, however, does not prioritise the quality of natural habitats and the uncontrolled ‘progress’ associated with the population increase has contributed to a less natural life in large cities, where the determinants of environmental maintenance are often not considered.3, 6-7 Over the years, architects, engineers and


professionals from different fields have tried to alleviate the damage caused to workers’ physical and mental health, that has resulted from this disconnection with the natural environment.3


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productivity. When the employee has their biological, psychological, social and organisational needs met, they feel better, releasing their motivation and producing more and better.4


Green areas The presence of green areas in healthcare environments is not a modern concept – according to Constantino2


the first


therapeutic gardens in Europe appeared in the Middle Ages, based on those already existing in Persia, Egypt and the Far East.


Caroline Ferreira Bailon


In general, studies show that a better quality of work life results in increased IFHE DIGEST 2014


Caroline Ferreira Bailon graduated in Petroleum Engineering from the University Center Augusto Motta (Rio de Janiero) in 2011. She operates in the area of environmental engineering at the Instituto Vital Brazil. She has experience in environmental management, environmental license, waste management, project management with development agencies, and production/technical translations in engineering and architecture. She is a member of the Biosafety Commission in Instituto Vital Brazil.


‘Environmental quality is closely related to quality of life, which includes the existence of healthy conditions in the environment.’


Maria Auxiliadora Rocha Ferreira Caldas


Maria Auxiliadora Rocha Ferreira Caldas graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Instituto Metodista do Rio – Bennett in 2010 and currently she is a collaborator in Instituto Vital Brazil (2011). She is a member of the Association for the Development of Hospital Building (ABDEH) and has experience in architecture in the following areas – healthcare environments, clean areas, laboratories, residential, corporate, ergonomic, museography.


Caroline Ferreira Bailon – Engineer


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