Empire State Realty Trust to Advance Study with Well Living Lab

Industry leader at forefront of initiative to evaluate methods and establish guidelines to enhance employee performance as organizations navigate their return to offices.

ROCHESTER, MN – July 11, 2020 – The Well Living Lab, a Delos and Mayo Clinic collaboration dedicated to researching the indoor environment’s impact on human health, today announced that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate leader, will join the Well Living Lab Alliance, a global consortium of organizations that support the advancement of knowledge about how the Indoor Environmental Quality improves human health and well-being where people live, work, and play, to advance the study of Indoor Environmental Quality. The study will include lab and in-building research and recommend best practices in office buildings in the U.S. and internationally.

 

Rich in sensor technology and highly configurable, the Well Living Lab, adjacent to the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is designed to simulate multiple indoor environmental settings and will generate insights and evaluate technologies to reduce the risk of respiratory virus transmission in work environments. Empire State Realty Trust will contribute their extensive expertise in building operations and management, along with insights on tenant engagement and perception in a post-COVID-19 environment.

 

“We are excited to welcome Empire State Realty Trust as a member of the Well Living Lab Alliance,” said Dr. Véronique Roger, Research Director of the Well Living Lab, and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Mayo Clinic. “Their contributions and ongoing insights into health-safety practices for offices will be invaluable for our research on COVID-19 & Beyond: Well Living Lab Safe Indoor Environment Program.”

 

Empire State Realty Trust also will enroll its entire portfolio in the WELL Health-Safety Rating program, offered by the International WELL Building Institute, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delos. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types, focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health and safety-related issues into the future.

 

“As we begin the process of reopening our buildings in the wake of COVID-19, it is critical that we take an evidence-based approach to ensure the health and safety of occupants when we return,” said Paul Scialla, Delos Founder and CEO. “With a leading organization such as Empire State Realty Trust, we are excited about the opportunity to extend the Well Living Lab’s pioneering research at the intersection of health, building and behavioral sciences and address today’s most pressing public health concern.”

 

Empire State Realty Trust has been a proven leader in sustainability and has studied and implemented measures to improve Indoor Environmental Quality for more than a decade. As part of the reopening of the Empire State Building Observatory, which underwent a $165 million redevelopment completed in December 2019, measures were designed and installed to mitigate direct, indirect and aerosol transmission through mask and distancing policies, sanitizer access, MERV13 filtration, increased ventilation, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. Similar measures have been made to upgrade health protocols of Empire State Realty Trust’s entire portfolio.  Additionally, at the Empire State Building, carbon emissions from operations were reduced by approximately 40 percent over the past 10 years with plans underway to cut an additional 40 percent in the next decade. The building serves as an example to the global real estate community of how retrofits and design upgrades can make an enormous impact towards improving the health of the environment.

 

“We have focused on Indoor Environmental Quality for more than a decade and pioneered and showcased many sustainability practices when we renovated the Empire State Building, practices we subsequently rolled out to our entire portfolio.  We believe in the power of building performance to improve employee productivity and enhance our competitive position amongst tenants. Along the way, our practices can help to protect the health of the planet. We are pleased to partner with the Well Living Lab initiative and contribute our learnings and leadership and examine new opportunities to remain at the forefront of Indoor Environmental Quality.  COVID-19 has demonstrated clearly the critical role buildings play in human health,” said Empire State Realty Trust Chairman, President and CEO Anthony E. Malkin.

 

Dr. Stacey Rizza, Mayo Clinic Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease, and President of the Mayo Clinic Staff in Rochester, Minnesota, is a key collaborator in the Well Living Lab’s COVID-19 & Beyond: Safe Indoor Environment Program, specifically where surface transmission is concerned. “As we research ways in which we can prepare and protect our indoor environments in the post-COVID era, Empire State Realty Trust will be a tremendous asset,” said Rizza. “They have already demonstrated their commitment to this effort by proactively upgrading health and safety protocols to reduce pathogen risk.”

 

“We have to rely on science and evidence-based strategies to deliver buildings and interiors that live up to what our customers need – energy efficient and human health-enhancing spaces that are both functional and beautiful,” said Dana Schneider, Senior Vice President and Director, Energy and Sustainability, for Empire State Realty Trust. “Our partnership with Delos and its multi-dimensional approach to deliver that scientific rigor will allow us to help the industry stay ahead of the curve and provide the proven guidance our customers and government officials can depend on.”

 

About the Well Living Lab

The Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos and Mayo Clinic, is dedicated to identifying how indoor environments impact human health and well-being. It conducts scientific research with human subjects in a simulated real-world environment and shares practical findings that can be applied to improving indoor spaces where people spent approximately 90 percent of their time. The lab has 5,500 square-feet of sensor rich, reconfigurable space in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. Learn more at welllivinglab.com

 

About Delos

Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Registrations under the WELL Building Standard have surpassed 4,100 projects in 59 countries, encompassing more than 530 million square feet. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.

 

About Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous building. Headquartered in New York, New York, the Company’s office and retail portfolio covers 10.1 million rentable square feet, as of March 31, 2020, consisting of 9.4 million rentable square feet in 14 office properties, including nine in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 700,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio.

 

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MultiGreen Partners with Delos to Integrate Residential Wellness Solutions in Attainable Housing Units

40,000 attainable housing units to be constructed by MultiGreen will incorporate leading health and wellness solutions in addition to sustainable design features

NEW YORK, NY – July 1, 2020 – MultiGreen, a real estate development and operating company specializing in ground-up construction of attainable, sustainable with tech-enabled multifamily housing, today announced its intent to integrate Delos’ leading wellness solution across 40,000 attainable housing units in the U.S. MultiGreen intends to integrate the Delos’ DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence Network, a residential system designed to enhance human health and well-being by monitoring, calibrating and responding to changing indoor environmental conditions.

DARWIN focuses on four main components: air filtration to help eliminate pathogens, allergens, and other airborne pollutants; water purification to remediate water quality concerns; and dynamic circadian lighting and comfort-focused technologies to help improve sleep quality and improve energy levels. The collaboration will build upon MultiGreen’s leadership in building attainable green housing, leveraging Delos’ expertise in wellness real estate and technology to provide MultiGreen residents a sustainable and health-focused living environment.

“It is now more important than ever to take actions that not only respond to today’s public health crisis, but also help prepare us to be even more resilient in the future,” said Delos Founder and CEO Paul Scialla. “We know that our buildings are a critical tool in this strategy, and MultiGreen has quickly expanded upon it’s incredible mission to ensure that health and well-being is a priority across all of its properties.”

Delos has fostered research collaborations with leading medical institutions, architects, scientists, and wellness thought leaders to introduce wellness standards, programs and solutions into the built environment. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for residential, commercial and hospitality spaces.

“MultiGreen is committed to improving the state of the world by constructing attainable green housing. With this strategic collaboration with Delos, the MultiGreen living spaces will now provide a healthy environment and seek to promote well-being. MultiGreen utilizes technology to enhance affordability for residents while providing state-of-the-art digital amenities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that we owe it to our residents to deliver solutions like Delos’ DARWIN system that will make their home a healthier place to live,” said Randy Norton, Founder and Chairman of the Board at MultiGreen.

 

About Delos

Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company guided by the mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people around the world by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play.  Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for residential and commercial spaces. Delos is the founder of the WELL Building Standard™, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. Its subsidiary, the International WELL Building Institute, administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Delos’ advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, government policy, medicine and sustainability, including renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.

 

About MultiGreen

MultiGreen Properties is a real estate development and operating company dedicated to the construction of attainable, sustainable and technology-enabled multifamily properties. MultiGreen Properties was co-founded in 2019 by Green Mesa Capital, a single family office, and i(x) investments, a permanently capitalized company, providing a historic opportunity to create economic growth and catalytic social impact in housing supply-constrained markets. The mission of MultiGreen Properties is to be a Top 25 Owner of newly constructed multifamily homes by 2030, and to be recognized as a global leader in sustainable entry-level housing. Our vision is singular: deploy capital intentionally and invite like-minded families to join us. MultiGreen specializes in the neighbor living experience platform provided by our Building-as-a-Service (BaaS). For more information, please visit www.multi.green.

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How to Navigate New Coworkers: Roommates, Family, Kids and Pets

Carolyn Swope, MPH and Carolina Campanella, PhD | June 23, 2020

Meet Your New Office Mates

As much of the workforce continues to stay home, we face an ongoing uncertainty about when offices will reopen or when virtual classes will end and kids will return to school. Working from home already presents a unique set of challenges to productivity (as discussed in our previous article). But navigating working from home while sharing space with other household members — whether roommates, partners, kids, or even pets — adds another layer of complexity. We’re all struggling with new boundaries, from juggling conference calls while feeding the kids or wrapping up an important document while a roommate or partner is on a work call in the same room, to keeping a cat from photo-bombing an important video call!

Read on for tips on how to share your workspace with other household members while being mutually supportive of everything that needs to get done for the day.

Use Your Environment

Ideally, each workstation should be separate from other people in the household. This helps reduce distractions from other people’s work calls or interruptions from other household members. If it is not possible to have a fully separate work area in your home, look for a spot with less “traffic flow” and potential for interruptions.

Designating spaces specifically for working — and working in that space consistently rather than shifting throughout the week — can be especially helpful in households with younger children. Maintaining a consistent, designated work zone helps kids understand that when their parent is in that space, they shouldn’t be interrupted. Visual cues are especially helpful to reinforce this message for kids. For example: closing the door, hanging an object on the doorknob, or putting up a sign. Kids, especially younger children, will be more likely to respect a sign they helped create. So get out your markers and cardboard and put your kids to work!

If you aren’t able to find a quiet place to work at home, try using noise cancelling headphones to drown out distractions. You can use these headphones just to enjoy the silence, or play the music you love to keep yourself motivated as you perform more mundane and repetitive tasks. However, lyrics might distract you from performing more cognitively demanding tasks — particularly if you’re an introvert — so try building out a list of instrumental tracks for tasks that require you to read or write complex documents.

Keep a Schedule

Our previous article explored how setting up a schedule for the day can support your productivity. But when there are other people involved in your work day, it’s also important to think about how to fit your schedules together. Having coordinated schedules across all the members of your household (including pets!) can help make sure that everyone accomplishes what they need to during the day.

Working straight through a regular work day can be particularly challenging when there are kids in the house. In this case, one of the first things to consider is how to arrange your day to balance work with childcare. First, identify the most important tasks of your day, where you’ll need full concentration — whether during conference calls or focused writing projects. Then, consider the best blocks of time to slot them into your day. If you’re sharing child rearing responsibilities with another household member, try coordinating schedules to ensure that each of you has time to focus on important tasks while the other is “on duty” for childcare and other household concerns, and vice versa. And if you’re taking care of the kids by yourself, schedule activities that don’t require as much supervision during your blocked-off times. For infants and toddlers this might involve using a bouncy chair or swings, while for older kids this might involve classwork, reading, educational games, puzzles, or toys like LEGO.

Given the unusual predicament of these times, don’t stress out if you have to resort to more screen time than you normally would. Try picking programs that you trust and games that enable your kids to interact with their friends. Reserving screen time for when you’re intensively working can also help kids associate this time as something to look forward to rather than feeling frustrated by your absence. Remember to avoid screen time in the evenings, though, as it can significantly interfere with kids’ sleep patterns – and this won’t serve you well either!

Nap times and sleep schedules are another built-in mechanism to allow you time to focus. Most younger kids (infants to preschoolers) will already be in the habit of napping at daycare, preschool, or at home. As an added bonus, napping helps support learning and cognitive development in young children. In terms of bedtime, younger kids need to go to sleep early. This gives you a good block of time to work while they get the sleep they need. On the other hand, older kids like to sleep in later, which will allow you to work in the morning while allowing them to get in extra sleep.

And last but not least: our furry friends! Pets respond to structure just as well as the rest of us, and will catch on to the rhythm of regular walk times and eating schedules so you can focus on work for the rest of the time. For more energetic pets, save high-energy, favorite toys to distract them during your most focused work times.

However, as discussed in our previous article, Sleep to Protect Immune Health, having some time to recharge from work is important for getting good sleep, as well as preventing work-related stress and maintaining your energy levels. So don’t let your shifting schedule eat up all the hours in your day. Try structuring a beginning and end to your workday through routines like mealtimes, exercising or meditating. And remember to build in time to relax, read, or stay grounded through social support from friends and family.

Communication is Key

Synchronizing the varying needs of multiple household members is always tough, and even more challenging at a time like this. Smooth navigation depends on various forms of communication. Start with getting everyone on the same page about the schedule for the day. If you have kids, create a calendar and position it where everyone can see it – like the fridge. Invite your kids to help design the calendar using color or other cues so that the understand signifiers like who’s “on duty” for childcare at any given time, or what a ‘do not interrupt’ block looks like. If there are times when it’s especially important that you avoid interruptions. Be clear and upfront so that your kids feel like they’re part of the process and understand the parameters of your time spent away from them.

Another important element is communication with other household members throughout the day. While working from home allows us to spend more time with family and feel more connected to the household, it’s important to avoid distractions and interruptions that might lead to procrastination. Keeping separate work areas helps create this space. Try to avoid ad-hoc chatting with adult members of your household and choose go-to methods of communication for pressing matters, for example texting, shared virtual platforms or a bulletin board. On the other hand, sharing lunch or snack breaks is a great way to stay connected while maintaining healthy boundaries. This also helps reinforce open communication blocks for kids, and make them more comfortable with not interrupting you during those times when you really need to focus.

Finally, communication with colleagues is essential. If you’re working with kids at home, let your manager and relevant colleagues know about any variations in your schedule. When you’re on a call or video conference, it can be helpful to let your team know that while you have set clear boundaries with your kids, unplanned interruptions are always possible — this helps promote understanding and mitigate frustration for the whole team.

We hope that these tips help you navigate your days during these unprecedented times. For more tips on how to be productive while working from home, check out our last article.

Edited by Radhika Singh

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How To Stay Productive While Working From Home

Carolina Campanella, Ph.D. | May 28, 2020

It’s been around 10 weeks since a large part of the workforce has been asked to work from home to reduce the spread of Covid-19. After 70+ days of virtual conference calls, working in pajamas, and improvising less than ideal standing desks from objects like ironing boards and packing crates, it’s time to take stock of the benefits and challenges of working from home. Reflecting on these experiences is particularly timely as companies begin to strategize how and when employees can return to the physical workplace.

The prevailing trend for the foreseeable future is for employees to continue to work from home where possible in order to reduce crowding in physical offices and prevent the continued spread of Covid-19. Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and major financial institutions like Barclays, Nationwide, and Goldman Sachs have already announced work-from-home policies that will extend until 2021 and may even become permanent for some employees.

Previously, there has been a certain resistance from many institutions around telecommuting, though the giant “work from home experiment” due to Covid-19 seems to have softened this stance. So what accounts for the change of heart? Productivity! Global Workplace Analytics conducted the largest Covid-19 remote work survey to date, and found that participants actually encountered fewer distractions when working at home compared to when in the office – even when faced with challenges like childcare. Respondents felt more productive when doing solitary focused work and equally as productive doing collaborative work. The option to telecommute has always attracted employees: increased flexibility with work schedules and work locations is all the more important as major cities continuously become more expensive to live in, while remote work reduces commuting costs and even helps some people develop healthier habits.

However, there are some downsides to remote work. Remote workers are less physically active during the day and may also be more uncomfortable if they don’t have the right tools to work, including a comfortable and quiet place to work from. Importantly, remote workers often report feeling more isolated and removed from work culture. Extroverts, in particular, have been found to dislike remote work as they miss the opportunity to spontaneously interact with coworkers. The same survey from Global Workplace Analytics found that while people were equally as productive while doing collaborative work, they were more satisfied when they could do it in person. Remote workers also report increased intrusions of work in their home life and longer work hours compared to their in-office counterparts, which over time can lead to increased feelings of stress and burnout and negatively impact productivity.

If remote work is becoming the new normal for you, it is important to take this time to assess what’s working and what’s not working. Depending on what you’re struggling with, we’ve outlined some evidence-based solutions to help support your productivity and satisfaction as you work from home.

Structure Your Workday

Working from home can blur both the physical and mental boundaries between work and home life. Technology has blurred this distinction further now that all we need is a stable WiFi connection to answer calls and emails and edit work documents, no matter where we are or the time of day. Being “on” all the time can have negative consequences. Over the short term, we can feel more stressed and start to have difficulty sleeping – which can influence our productivity the following day. If the pattern continues, it can lead to feelings of burnout and impact our physical and mental health.

Therefore, it is important to set clear start and end times to the workday. Reinforce these boundaries on a psychological level by building routines to cue your switch in and out of work mode. For example, take a short “commute” around the block to frame your work day, or start your day by making a to-do list and end it with a reflection on what you accomplished; whatever works best for you. If you have the space, create a dedicated work area and only use this area during “work hours” to create a physical boundary. If you do not have space for a dedicated work area, put your work materials away at the end of the day and keep them out of sight to help maintain strong work/life boundaries.

Know Your Energy Peaks

The individual expression of your biological rhythm, known as your chronotype, defines when you are most productive and when you are most tired. Most people tend to fall into 3 different categories – morning people, evening people, and middle-of-the-road types. Morning people are early risers who go to bed early and tend to be most productive in the morning, whereas evening people struggle to get up in the morning and tend to be most energetic in the afternoon and evening. Middle-of-the-road types don’t encounter much difficulty waking up or falling asleep at typical times, but can fall victim to the ‘post lunch dip’ between 2-4 pm.

The beauty of working from home is that it may offer the flexibility to leverage your chronotype for maximum productivity. Take note of your energy levels and schedule work activities accordingly. During the times when you feel most alert, schedule in your most cognitively demanding tasks. In the hours when you feel more tired, complete more mundane tasks like answering emails.

Manage Your Procrastination

While flexibility is a big perk of remote work, one of the biggest dangers can be procrastination. If you have a low tolerance for frustration, or are less conscientious, you may struggle with remote work when encountering a difficult task. If you’re somebody that gets frustrated easily, try taking a few deep breaths to collect yourself before breaking down a difficult task into several smaller parts and tackling each part individually. If you’re somebody who gets easily distracted, set up your work room in an area free of distractions and try using an app to lock your social media access during focus periods.

Take Breaks

Though it may seem counterintuitive, we are most productive when we take short regular breaks. The longer we work on a task without any kind of mental respite, the more fatigued we may become and the more likely our performance is to suffer. How you structure your breaks can depend on the task at hand. For example, when you are engaged in focused work, you may opt to space out your breaks (e.g., every 90 minutes) in order to maintain your concentration. During times when you are more fatigued and easily distracted, you may opt to take more frequent breaks (e.g., every 30 minutes). For your break, consider small bursts of physical activity like walking around the room, looking out of a window for a few minutes, or stretching.

Communication Matters

For some, the biggest loss we feel from remote work are the social aspects, such as being able to talk to coworkers around the water cooler or collaborate in person. Remote workers also tend to feel more removed from the overall company culture and less like they are part of a team. This can be especially challenging when some of your colleagues are in the office and others are not, and over time these feelings of isolation can negatively impact your work. If you are working from home, try establishing regular and/or frequent check-ins with your manager and colleagues to help feel more engaged.

Move Your Body

Evidence shows that physical activity can improve cognition, thus impacting productivity. Even small actions, like walking around a room during a problem-solving phone call or virtual brainstorming session can help improve creativity. For in depth recommendations on how to be more active while working from home, check out our Immune Health article.

Hydrate

The link between drinking water and physical health is well established. However, proper hydration can have a great impact on your cognitive performance as well. Therefore, to help maintain your productivity during the day, make sure to drink plenty of water.

Catch Some Zzzzz’s

Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining cognition and performance, which is critical to being productive. Learn about the importance of Sleep to Protect Performance and how to Create Your Sleep Sanctuary in our linked articles.

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember that there is no instant solution to the challenges of remote work. It can take time to develop effective strategies to work productively from home. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself struggling. The more consistent you are in your habits, the easier it will become!

Edited by Radhika Singh

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Delos’ Paul Scialla and Well Living Lab’s Barbara Spurrier join the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) task force to lead senior living transformation after COVID-19

Industry thought leaders and key stakeholders to convene on May 27 and May 28, 2020 to chart a path forward for North America’s senior living industry

May 27, 2020 – Paul Scialla, CEO and Founder of Delos and Founder of the International WELL Building Institute, along with Barbara Spurrier, Managing Director of the Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos and Mayo Clinic, are joining more than 160 industry thought leaders to provide guidance for senior living communities throughout North America as they prepare to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID era.

Participants in the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force include representatives of for-profit, not-for-profit, and affordable housing — organizations providing active-adult and independent living, continuing care retirement communities/life plan, assisted living, long-term care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. Participating industry associations include, among others, LeadingAge, American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), Argentum, American Medical Directors Association (AMDA), Pioneer Network, National Council on Aging (NCOA), The National Association Directors of Nursing Administration in Long-Term Care (NADONA), and the American Society on Aging (ASA).

“Delos’ research has been critical in advancing health and well-being through the places where we spend our time – from senior living to community centers and more,” said Scialla. “It is now more important than ever to apply this research at scale and joining the ICAA task force will allow us to collectively share evidence-based insights and guidance to the senior living industry.”

“I am honored to join this esteemed group of industry experts in exploring how we can maximize the quality and safety of indoor environments for our nation’s senior population,” said Spurrier. The Well Living Lab announced in April its initial plan to advance return-to-workplace guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Buildings have a tremendous impact on our health and well-being, and the role of indoor spaces has now become more important than ever,” Spurrier said. “The Well Living Lab, which brings together building and health sciences expertise and technologies to conduct research and to generate and disseminate discoveries, can help move findings into the field to impact lives, such as those in our senior living community.”

“The health, wellness and quality of life of our residents and staff are paramount as we chart a path forward in the midst of uncertainty,” said ICAA founder and CEO Colin Milner, who conceived the initiative. “The Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to plan for a new post-COVID era.”

Milner will co-chair the task force with Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th US Surgeon General, Chief of Health Innovations, Canyon Ranch, and psychologist/gerontologist Ken Dychtwald, PhD, best-selling author, founder and CEO of Age Wave.

“Organizations need to make their way through the pandemic and have a game plan to come out of it,” Milner said. “Importantly, all key stakeholders are coming together as a group to address COVID-19’s impact on the industry and help ensure that organizations will continue to be viable and meet residents’ expectations and desires while also ensuring their safety now and into the future.”

Task force members and panelists at the May 27 and May 28 launch sessions will address fundamental issues such as social distancing and its impact on the built environment, infrastructure needs and engagement.

 

About the Well Living Lab

The Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos and Mayo Clinic, is dedicated to identifying how indoor environments impact human health and well-being. It conducts scientific research with human subjects in a simulated real-world environment and shares practical findings that can be applied to improving indoor spaces where people spent approximately 90 percent of their time. The lab has 5,500 square-feet of sensor rich, reconfigurable space in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. Learn more at welllivinglab.com

 

About Delos
Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.

 

About the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force

ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Industry Task Force will generate and provide ideas, tactics, strategies and messaging suggestions that organizations can consider as they begin to emerge from a period of quarantine and plan for a new post-COVID era. This includes, but is not limited to, the impact of the built and virtual environments, social activities and food/beverage services, technology, education and security that impacts the health and well-being of staff and residents; challenges to current and future business models; and approaches to build confidence in living in and visiting senior living properties.

 

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
www.icaa.cc

ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for adults over 50. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging-an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness-and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies.

 

For more information or questions:
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595
[email protected]

 

Media Contact: Sarah Oslund 
Director of Communications & Marketing
[email protected] | Cell: 507.421.9864

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Your Guide to Being Outdoors During the Pandemic

Carolyn Swope, MPH | May 19, 2020

As time in our homes wears on while the weather warms up, many of us are wondering how safe it is to venture outdoors into local streets, parks, and other green spaces. Being outdoors can benefit our health and well-being and support our resilience during this challenging time. Of course, it is paramount to follow local guidelines related to stay-at-home orders, and to avoid leaving your home if you are sick or if doing so would otherwise go against health officials’ recommendations. However, when it’s permissible under local policies around preventing Covid-19’s spread, the good news is that there are some easy precautions we can take to help promote our health and safety when outdoors. Read on to learn more about some of the benefits of spending time in green spaces, the risk of transmission indoors vs. outdoors, and tips to reduce your risk when you are outside.

The Benefits of Being Outdoors

Being outdoors benefits our health and well-being in a number of ways. First, spending time in nature has been linked to beneficial psychological effects — such as better moods, reduced stress, and improved attention and cognitive performance — that can be particularly valuable during this challenging time. As the emotional toll of Covid-19 weighs on us — from anxiety over getting sick and sorrow over lost loved ones to fear of economic precarity, or simply feeling cooped up indoors — finding ways to support our mental well-being is all the more important.

Second, during a time when most gyms are closed, the great outdoors beckons us to walk, run, or otherwise enjoy some ‘green exercise’ in nature. As discussed in our Immune Health and Fitness article, physical fitness can help keep your immune system robust so that your body is better able to fight off infection. Green exercise enables the benefit of physical activity and also the mental health benefits of being out in nature! One study found that even just 5 minutes of green exercise helped improve people’s self-esteem and mood.

Finally, getting a healthy dose of natural sunlight every day is important for helping keep your internal clock, or ‘circadian rhythm,’ in sync. Many of our body’s functions naturally operate on a 24-hour cycle that mirrors the solar day. One example is sleep, as covered in our recent Sleep Health article. When this rhythm is disrupted, it can lead to sleep issues and other negative outcomes. Light is the primary way that this clock is ‘set,’ so getting daily exposure to the right light at the right time of day — i.e., bright light in the morning and darkness at night — is critical. Indoor lighting doesn’t always provide that, so getting some time outside, especially in the morning, can help your body stay in sync. As always, make sure to use appropriate protection to prevent sunburn. Like fitness, getting good sleep can help keep your immune system strong and resilient to infections.

Being Outdoors and Covid-19: What’s the Risk?

While being outdoors is, of course, not risk-free, experts believe that the risk of viral transmission might be lower in large, open outdoor spaces with fresh air, where the virus can dissipate rapidly, as compared to indoors, where spaces are often enclosed and confined. That does not negate the importance of staying at least 6 feet away from others and avoiding crowding — although experts think that briefly passing someone while running or walking is low-risk. Indeed, Drs. Ned Friedman, Joseph Allen, and Marc Lipsitch concluded in a recent editorial that “The science could not be clearer: The benefits of getting outside vastly outweigh the risk of getting infected in a park.”

If you do go outdoors, make sure to take appropriate precautions. In addition to staying 6 feet away from other people, if not more, wear a cloth face covering and wash or sanitize your hands afterwards. Stick to open areas where the risk of touching anything is minimized, rather than spaces that involve the use of equipment or close contact with others, like playgrounds. And of course, be sure to follow any guidelines that your local government has set regarding the use of parks and other public green spaces.

It’s important to keep in mind that the risk won’t go down to zero even if you take these precautions. So if going outside isn’t an option for you, keep in mind that there are other ways to access the benefits of the great outdoors:

  • Research shows that viewing nature through a window, looking at a picture of a natural scene, or even listening to nature sounds can offer some of the psychological benefits of nature exposure.
  • You can increase your exposure to light in the morning by spending time in a room with natural light or using tunable light bulbs.
  • Finally, check out our article on Immune Health and Fitness for ideas on how to maintain a healthy exercise regime at home.

Edited by Regina Vaicekonyte

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As Vatican Reopens, Delos Aligns with Humanity 2.0 Well Being to Implement the Vatican’s First Wellness Installation into its Real Estate Portfolio at the Renowned Pontifical Orientale Institute

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Delos, a wellness real estate and technology company, has formed a collaboration with Humanity 2.0 Well Being and the Pontifical Orientale Institute to upgrade the Vatican’s Orientale’s residences with its evidence-based health and wellness technologies and solutions.

Rome and the Vatican are slowly emerging from lockdown, providing a critical window to help build health resilience, prevent disease and reduce viral transmission in houses, offices, parishes and school facilities through scientifically-supported technologies and solutions.

Delos, the trusted scientific authority on healthy buildings, has customized a program for the Pontifical Orientale Institute, which includes air purification and surface cleaning technology, circadian lighting and other evidence-based interventions designed to help support immune health, reduce stress, improve sleep quality and promote overall well-being.

In partnership with Humanity 2.0 Well Being, the wellness platform created in collaboration with the Vatican (Holy See), the Pontifical Orientale Institute was identified due to its rich history and innovative leadership, as well as vital role in convening global interfaith groups at the Vatican. Led by Rev. David Nazar, S.J, the Pontifical Oriental Institute was created by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and is currently a school of higher studies that has as its particular mission the service of the Oriental Churches.

“The Catholic Church runs the largest governmental school system in the world, serving in over 100 countries – some over 1,000 years old – and runs one-quarter of the world’s health care institutions,” said Father David Nazar, Rector of the Orientale. “Its preoccupation has always been the care of the entire person and of society. Recent information technology and wellness sciences have brought to the fore much needed insights into humanizing the educational environment. Our students come from over 40 countries, many without deep resources, and student depression is an increasing phenomenon in a world that is struggling to find a common purpose. COVID-19 has shown us how fragile we are. With Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being, we will be implementing health and wellness tools that address these contemporary educational challenges, helping us continue our focus on strengthening the whole person- body, mind, and spirit. Pope Francis, with his focus on human ecology, has asked church institutions to show leadership. With Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being, the Orientale is doing just that.”

“We are honored to have been asked to customize our suite of research and technology solutions accrued over years into a first-of-its-kind program for the Pontifical Orientale Institute residences at this pivotal time,” said Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos. “We know that buildings have a profound impact on human health, but the current pandemic has magnified the essential need for evidence-based health interventions in the indoor environment, which are being shared with the Vatican and its global network.”

Given the Catholic Church’s global footprint, comprising 200,000 colleges, universities and other schools, 220,000 parishes, 117,000 nursing home and senior living facilities, and 10,000 orphanages in 196 countries, Delos’ Vatican program at the Orientale will be made available more widely to the Catholic Church to educate and shape institutional best practices.

“Through upgrading our educational buildings with health innovations, we are actually building human capacity at one of its most formative periods,” said Morad Fareed, CEO of Humanity 2.0 Well Being and a co-founder of Delos. “Father Nazar and the Orientale have a heritage as pioneers, and this initial partnership is both a template and a catalyst for greater strategic collaboration with the Vatican at this defining time.”

With the support of Pope Francis, and in conjunction with Fr. William Watson, S.J., vice president for advancement for the Orientale, the Orientale’s residences, offices, classrooms and library/conference facilities were significantly upgraded in 2017- the 100th anniversary of the Institute. These same residences will now become the first residences in the Vatican to implement Delos’ technologies and solutions.

The collaboration with Delos and Humanity 2.0 Well Being is advanced by the Orientale’s initiative to upgrade the technology infrastructure for all Orientale classrooms to enable the most comprehensive distance learning capabilities of any papal university, made possible through partnership with UBS partners James Mallahan and Mark Russo.

Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which created the WELL Building Standard™, currently being implemented in over 4,000 projects, surpassing 500 million square feet of wellness real estate in 61 countries. IWBI recently established a Task Force on Covid-19 and other respiratory infections – Co-Chaired by 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, Former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and Harvard School of Public Health’s Joseph Allen – to advance the role of buildings in protecting and enhancing health.

About Delos
Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.

About Humanity 2.0 Well-Being
Humanity 2.0 was created to facilitate collaborative ventures between the historically siloed public, private, and faith-based sectors. Founded in 2018 in collaboration with the Dicastery for Integral Human Development at the Holy See (Vatican) led by His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Humanity 2.0 Foundation has become a unique global force in its novel ability to identify important global initiatives, forge partnerships, and introduce scientific solutions for global impact. After two years of convenings in Vatican City with global luminaries from Ethics, Science, Health, and Technology, Humanity 2.0 Well Being was developed to focus more concretely on installing the world’s leading environmental and maternal wellness solutions throughout the Faith Sector and beyond. https://humanity2-0.org/

About the Pontifical Orientale Institute
The Mission of the Orientale is to pursue research, teaching, and publishing relating to the traditions of the Eastern Churches – a geography spanning from Russia to Ethiopia and from Italy to India – in their theology, liturgies, patristics, history, canon law, literature and languages, spirituality, archeology, and questions of ecumenical and geopolitical importance. The areas of primary concern today to the Orientale are the Middle East and the post-Soviet world. For more information about the Orientale, please visit https://orientale.it/en/

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