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Biophilia: The Connection Between Humans and Nature

Visiting hospitals and healthcare facilities are often daunting for an individual. The stress and discomfort that come along with healthcare environments are inevitable for both patients and employees alike. However, this atmosphere can be changed using biophilia. Biophilia in a nutshell means that humans have an innate connection to nature. Biophilic design in healthcare has proven to provide significant benefits that positively impact healing and well-being. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the concept of biophilic design, its positive effects, and what healthcare administrators can do to introduce it into their facilities.

Nature Increases Productivity and Decreases Stress

Hospital environments can be incredibly depressing and overwhelming. However, adding simple nature elements, such as plants or nature views, can create a calming effect for patients who are recovering and employees who are working there. One way to change the views for patients and staff is to switch up the patient rooms to allow them to overlook nature instead of urban areas. Similarly, the same idea can be incorporated for employee break rooms, where they can take a break from work and enjoy nature.

Studies reveal that patients with a view of nature experience less stress, require less medication, and have shorter recovery times. Likewise, healthcare professionals exposed to biophilic design enjoy reduced stress levels, fewer sick days, and increased job satisfaction. This approach to design can create a healthier, more inviting environment for everyone.

Biophilic design involves integrating natural elements such as greenery, natural light, earth tones, and nature-inspired artwork into the healthcare facilities. Incorporating these elements can reduce stress levels among patients and staff, leading to increased productivity, creativity, and satisfaction. For instance, natural light in patient rooms reduces recovery time, and the presence of live plants calms patients and staff and removes harmful toxins from the air.

Financially, healthcare facilities stand to gain by investing in biophilic design. Patients with a view of nature spend less time in the hospital, resulting in lower healthcare costs. Biophilic design can also help with employee retention and attract new team members. Additionally, reducing healthcare costs through biophilic design can offset design and upkeep costs for healthcare facilities.

Change the Views for Patients and Staff

What can healthcare administrators do to achieve all of these benefits? They can take several simple yet effective steps to introduce biophilia into their facilities.

Use Nature-Inspired Color Scheme

Backlit panel showcasing a mountainous landscape

Using nature-inspired color schemes, such as browns and greens, can create a calming effect in any room. Not every room or hallway needs it, but rooms that patients who are recovering and employees use regularly should incorporate this. The colors can make people feel more relaxed and provide a soothing atmosphere that can help reduce stress levels.

Tall, faux white tree inside of a hospital waiting area


Having potted plants near or in rooms where appropriate and in employee lunchrooms, cafeterias, break rooms, and more can create a positive atmosphere. Lunchrooms or lobbies with green walls can provide that green atmosphere without taking up a lot of space, and plants in work environments can increase productivity. Plants also help in purifying indoor air, reducing the risk of illness and increasing positivity in the environment.

A hospital waiting room with 4 chairs in sets of two against walls, with two paintings of nature above the chairs.


Images of flowers, plants, and nature in key areas can also provide that nature connection that humans seek and provide much of the same benefit as live plants or even live nature views. Having images of nature in hospital rooms or employee break rooms can create a calming effect and provide a sense of peace, helping staff members distress.

Incorporating biophilic design into healthcare facilities has numerous benefits, including reduced patient and staff stress, quicker recovery, and improved job satisfaction. The positive impact also translates to financial gains for healthcare institutions. By taking simple measures such as introducing natural light and colors, access to nature views, and plants, healthcare facilities can implement biophilic design to improve staff well-being and patient outcomes. Biophilic design is a trend that must continue to grow in healthcare, promoting the interconnection between humans and nature.



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