How the environment affects our health

From polluted air outdoors to bland workspaces indoors, the environment can negatively impact both our physical and mental health, according to three Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health experts who spoke October 5, 2015 in Harvard’s Geographical Lecture Hall.

Titled “How Does the Environment Affect Our Health?”, the event featured John Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHGE); Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science in the Department of Environmental Health; and Julia Africa, program leader for CHGE’s Nature, Health, and the Built Environment program.

Spengler spoke about the link between particulates in the air and health; Allen focused on how indoor work environments impact health, well-being, and productivity; and Africa spoke about natural environments. “A natural environment may be more restorative or more soothing than the relatively more modern incarnation of our built environment now particularly with its materials and sensory cues,” Africa said in an October 6, 2015 Harvard Crimson article.

The event was presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History in conjunction with the Harvard Chan School.

Read the Harvard Crimson article: Panelists Discuss Environment’s Impact on Health