On average, Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. From living and working to shopping and working out, exposure to indoor environments is at an all-time high. The Well Living Lab, a collaboration between the Mayo Clinic and Delos, is exploring how our health and wellbeing is affected by all of the time we are spending inside.
The purpose of the Well Living Lab is to study these indoor environments and create healthier indoor spaces in which to live, work, and play. Focused exclusively on human-centered research, the lab is the first of its kind. By maintaining an unprecedented degree of control over the research variables it is testing, the researchers are able to manipulate and test almost any type of indoor environment.
The first group to be tested in the lab is a select unit of Mayo Clinic employees. These 10-15 employees will essentially just be relocated to a new office space – the biggest difference from their previous location simply being that they will be continually monitored in the new space. Researchers will test how the employees are affected by a range of variables, just a few of which include lighting, air quality, ergonomics, and sound.
Dana Pillai is the executive director of the Well Living Lab and an employee of Delos, the company that founded the WELL Building Standard and is transforming homes, offices, schools, and other indoor environments by placing health and wellness at the center of design and construction decisions. Pillai talked with Forbes last September when the lab space first opened, describing the space as “a huge data infrastructure project.”
Well Living Lab medical director and Mayo Clinic employee Brent Bauer, M.D. agrees. “The sky’s the limit,” he says. “No one has ever put a lab together like this. In a year, I look forward to seeing what we learned just from watching how people work and live in these environments.”
The Well Living Lab is located on the first and third floors of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center on 1st Avenue SW in downtown Rochester.