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Impact of Colors in Hospital Design

Color Therapy in Hospitals

While there is no question about the importance of Hospital Design in the Patient have a much better healing experience, the role Colours in Design has not been as understood and accepted.

Color has always had a huge effect on the mood of a person. Researchers have explored this aspect and discovered that use of certain colors have an affect on physiological aspects like heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration, making it imperative to use it when designing especially Hospitals.

There are select colors that can help not just create pleasant aesthetics, but also an environment that has a positive therapeutic impact on patients, lowering their stress levels. Very much needed especially for Patients awaiting Surgery or any critical Procedure.

The right colors promote a state of calm which in turn improves the state of mind of the patient and make them accept the treatment or procedure more whole heartedly. Well-chosen wall, ceiling and even floor colors, designs for the furniture and other artefacts and their colors, can help even alter human behaviour, and improve in their recovery process.

Different Colors for different Areas of the Hospital

Red is a Color that raises blood temperature and stimulates circulation, used in areas that care for people with anaemia, fatigue, paralysis, and exhaustion. It is also used as an indication to stop, a signal conveying danger, normally used to show Fire exits, Electrical Panels & Switches, Fire extinguishers etc.

Orange gives vitality to the body and is associated with the kidneys, urinary tract, and reproductive organs and is thus best used in Departments caring for people with such ailments. This color, Orange also is used to indicate the presence of dangerous machinery parts or equipment that can injure like exposed gears, pulleys, rollers etc.

Yellow is a color that helps digestion as well as the liver and intestine process. It is considered to have decongestant and antibacterial properties, acting as a cleanser for the body. Is known to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. No prizes to guess the departments this color can be used in. Yellow is also used to mark areas to be cautious and hazardous. Areas in which one can trip, fall, stumble etc.

Green indicates exactly the opposite. Safety, where First aid equipment, Dispensaries, Stretchers etc are located, while Black and white and combinations of both are used to direct movement and to indicate housekeeping areas. Green promotes balance and harmony within the body, making it a good color to use for those with heart and blood problems.

Blue is a calming, soothing color too, as it symbolizes water, the sea and the sky. Helps in lowering the heart rate and helping the body heal itself. Blue alleviate tension and stress and felt to relieve insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, and skin irritation.

Basic design principle should also be followed of not using too many colors - more than 3 to 4 in a single place inside the Hospital, be it a Patient Room or a Consulting room. Too many colors cause confusion in the Patient’s mind and thereby stress.
We can thus see the different emotions Colors invoke. While the Hospital needs to look good, the colors should finally be such that not only avoids stressing out the patient, but also aids in the healing process.


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