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This week it about the small and the big things we can do to be healthier and happier.

World Mental Health Day on Monday was a useful reminder that we are all responsible for taking care of ourselves and the people around us. Getting enough bright light- and darkness – is one simple, low-cost thing you can do. This review article in Biochemical Pharmacology explains the value of daylight to boost mood, synthesise Vitamin D and even as a disinfectant due to the UV component, The relevance of daylight for humans. Here are two other papers that point to the powerful mood-boosting effect of light: Efficacy of light therapy versus antidepressant drugs, and of the combination versus monotherapy, in major depressive episodes: A systematic review and meta-analysis and Bright Light as a Personalized Precision Treatment of Mood Disorders

I was privileged to be invited to speak at the Salus International Conference for Healthy Cities this week, where more strategic and political dimensions to health creation were top of the agenda, 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin 1736

For every £1 a government spends on public health, £14.30 comes back to the economy according to this article – Return on investment of public health interventions: a systematic review

The business case for healthy building stacks up for developers too, commanding 4.4 – 7.7% more per square foot than their nearby non certified and non-registered peers. Improved indoor lighting conditions and daylighting tops the list of priorities among tenants at (77%), followed by thermal comfort (64%), and ventilation (58%). This article from the FT (Super-prime of life: the rise of ‘wellness’ apartments suggests that developers in London are rushing to cash in – although it concludes on a cautious note ‘time will tell whether the future of London Clubs is meditation rather than Martinis’. Given that we spend around $1.5 trillion on our own health and well-being, according to McKinsey & Company, the well-being agenda might finally be gaining ground- Feeling good: The future of the $1.5 trillion wellness market

But taking care of yourself doesn’t have to cost the earth, Just get outside. Then switch off and enjoy a conversation or time to reflect and plan, draw the curtains and switch off.

Two other articles caught my eye given the current energy crisis: 

The first is about the ‘hue-heat’ effect which explains that we can feel up to two degrees warmer in a warmer light.  Effect of illumination on perceived temperature

And finally, the best cure I know for feeling a bit down is a cat on my lap. Here is an article full of cool facts about cats that you might enjoy. – Do Cats Know the Time of Day?

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