Understanding the physical characteristics of the indoor environment that affect human health and wellbeing is the key requirement underpinning the beneficial design of a healthcare facility (HCF). We reviewed and summarized physical factors of the indoor environment reported to affect human health and wellbeing in HCFs. Altogether, 214 publications were selected for this review. According to the literature, there is strong scientific evidence to show that following indoor environmental factors have beneficial effects for all user groups when appropriately designed or implemented: the acoustic environment, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the thermal environment, the visual environment (e.g. lighting, and views of nature), ergonomic conditions and furniture. In contrast, the effect of special layouts and room type and floor coverings may be beneficial for one group and detrimental for another. Some of the physical factors may, in themselves, directly promote or hinder health and wellbeing, but the factors can also have numerous indirect impacts by influencing the behaviour, actions and interactions of patients, their families and the staff members. The findings of this research enable a good understanding of the different physical factors of the indoor environment on health and wellbeing and provide a practical resource for those responsible for the design and operation of the facilities as well as researchers investigating these factors. However, more studies are needed in order to inform the design of optimally beneficial indoor environments in HCFs for all user groups.

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