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 Phillip Rollfing  

Faculty in the news

Rodiek's research featured
in the Chicago Tribune



An April 23, 2006 article by Jane Adler in the Chicago Tribune featured research by assistant professor Susan Rodiek. The story, titled, “Exposure to natural elements can improve residents’ well-being” highlighted Rodiek’s work with the Center for Health Systems & Design in researching the health outcomes of long-term care patients who were provided access to outdoor areas for certain activities, versus those who performed the same activities inside the facility.

Summary: In one study, [Susan Rodiek] tested stress levels of residents at assisted-living buildings. She says residents experience lots of stress: They suffer from chronic pain, the loss of family and friends and not being able to do what they want anymore. In her test, she placed one group of residents outside for a series of activities. Another group stayed inside for the same activities. Based on four measures, the outdoor group experienced less stress. Rodiek's interviews showed that the residents wanted to be outdoors because it provides a sense of peace and connection to nature that took older people beyond their ailments and worries, she said. Being outside also is usually associated with increased physical activity. But, she said, outdoor spaces at long-term care buildings tend not to be used. Why?

The complete article is available for a fee from the Chicago Tribune archives: Author: Jane Adler, Special to the Tribune; Date: April 23, 2006; Start page: 3; Section: Real Estate; text word count: 784.

Chicago Tribune archives:



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Susan Rodiek