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Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2024 | Viewed by 16734

Special Issue Editors

School of Design, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Interests: design for behavioural change; design for health and wellbeing; design for interdisciplinary working; design for sustainability; transformation design; creative design methods and approaches
School of Design, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
Interests: design for sustainability and social innovation; user experience in service design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ensuring healthy lives and increased wellbeing at all ages is at the forefront of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The global health crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark wake-up call, demonstrating the cruciality of people’s health to address social and economic inequality and accelerate sustainability. The broad spectrum of a pandemic requires an integrative response that protects people from health threats. An obvious solution is the design of resilient health systems to empower individuals and communities to act for their own health. 

This Special Issue aims to understand how design and design thinking can influence behavioural change and enhance health and wellbeing. We acknowledge the vital role of creative design solutions to help to promote healthy behaviour and positive emotion and wellbeing, including but not limited to preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), boosting the wellbeing of people living with NCDs, and establishing good personal-hygiene-related habits that can influence the occurrence and prevention of communicable diseases such as COVID-19. We invite original theoretical or practical submissions and review articles from the design community that address one or more of the following topics:

  • Innovations in health promotion and disease prevention; 
  • Design innovations for wellbeing;
  • Emotion, health decision making, and health behaviour;
  • Behaviour and emotion in emergency;
  • Designing health behaviour change; 
  • Service Design for mental healthcare;  
  • Models and strategies, multidisciplinary approaches, methods and tools for health and wellbeing design;
  • Learning through health design projects; 
  • Future perspectives for designing health and wellbeing.

Dr. Tang Tang
Dr. Jun Zhang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • design innovation
  • design models and strategies
  • design methods and tools
  • human behaviour
  • multidisciplinary approaches
  • learning through health design projects
  • radical change
  • future trends

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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35 pages, 32842 KiB  
Article
Healthy and Inclusive Neighbourhoods: A Design Research Toolkit for the Promotion of Healthy Behaviours
by Daniele Busciantella-Ricci, Alessia Macchi, Sara Viviani and Alessandra Rinaldi
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16073059 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Addressing urban health through the built environment requires cross-disciplinary approaches, where design plays a crucial role. Gaining insights from a design-led research perspective to find situated solutions for promoting healthy behaviours is a requirement that must be clarified. Therefore, we ask the following [...] Read more.
Addressing urban health through the built environment requires cross-disciplinary approaches, where design plays a crucial role. Gaining insights from a design-led research perspective to find situated solutions for promoting healthy behaviours is a requirement that must be clarified. Therefore, we ask the following question: what kind of design research instruments may help in applying the urban health approach from a design-led perspective? With this research question, and to contribute to the mentioned issues to be clarified, this paper presents the application of a framework adopted in a local action research project, namely the Healthy Neighbourhoods Hub (HNH) research project. The HNH framework was used as a design research toolkit for collecting contextual data and identifying insights to build scenarios and strategies for all the involved design disciplines. Around 169 participants among local stakeholders and citizens in two case studies in the city of Florence (Italy) were involved in semi-structured interviews, Healthy Labs, and Open Space Lab. As a result, the participatory activities provided a wide variety of qualitative data, such as themes related to user needs (n = 15), critical issues and points of weakness (n = 32), potentialities and points of strength (n = 27), strategies (n = 38), design insights (n = 30), and a collection of 40 local projects (40 in 5 themes), that contributed to the subsequent co-design activities of the project. This richness suggests the potential of using the adopted resources to build the HNH Toolkit as a design research instrument for addressing urban health and gaining design knowledge for the promotion of healthy behaviours through the design of the built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 4236 KiB  
Article
Did COVID-19 Reshape Visitor Preferences in Urban Parks? Investigating Influences on Sentiments in Shanghai, China
by Siqi Lai, Yifan Zhu and Brian Deal
Sustainability 2023, 15(23), 16396; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152316396 - 28 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Urban parks can be critical components of city landscapes. In the wake of COVID-19, understanding the role of urban parks in helping to elicit positive sentiment and improve the overall well-being of visitors has gained new traction in the literature. This research distinctively [...] Read more.
Urban parks can be critical components of city landscapes. In the wake of COVID-19, understanding the role of urban parks in helping to elicit positive sentiment and improve the overall well-being of visitors has gained new traction in the literature. This research distinctively investigates whether the COVID-19 pandemic altered preferences regarding urban parks and identifies the key landscape attributes and environmental factors that influenced positive visitor sentiment, thereby addressing a critical gap in understanding the evolving dynamics of urban green spaces in the post-pandemic era. We use a mixed methods approach that includes natural language processing techniques to analyze crowd sourced data across more than 100 urban parks in Shanghai, China. Not surprisingly, our results highlight a post-pandemic rise in preferences for neighborhood parks and features typically associated with neighborhood parks, such as walking accessibility and surrounding residential densities. In addition, we found six park features, the presence of grasslands, water bodies, walking paths, and proximity to shopping facilities, significantly impacted the ways in which people perceived their park experience. These insights can guide urban park planning, design, and management in our evolving post-pandemic landscape to help ensure that urban parks continue to serve as essential urban spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 7641 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Impact of Small-Scale Courtyard Landscape Layouts on Spatial Oppressiveness in Dense High-Rise Environments
by Ying Cao and Lianghao Huang
Sustainability 2023, 15(20), 14826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152014826 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Numerous studies have shown that the oppressiveness brought on by high-rise buildings can be somewhat mitigated by landscapes. However, there is a lack of research that specifically examines the relationship between courtyard landscape layouts and spatial oppressiveness. This study focuses on the relationship [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have shown that the oppressiveness brought on by high-rise buildings can be somewhat mitigated by landscapes. However, there is a lack of research that specifically examines the relationship between courtyard landscape layouts and spatial oppressiveness. This study focuses on the relationship between the landscape layout of a small courtyard and spatial oppressiveness. It entails tests that are conducted in two phases of experiments that examine visual, behavioral, and psychological aspects. In the first experiment, participants were asked to freely explore four sample scenarios without any predetermined outcome, and their behavioral coordinates were recorded as behavioral data. Using the semantic differential (SD) method, participants in the second experiment used four example panoramic landscapes to assess oppressiveness and supply psychological indicators (including oppressiveness, attractiveness, territoriality, and desire to stay). Additionally, this study quantified the visual elements’ solid angles in the scenes through panoramic image segmentation. The results ultimately show that landscape layouts, particularly the surrounding and dispersed layouts, are more effective in alleviating the oppressiveness induced by surrounding buildings compared to the centralized layout. Furthermore, the study explains the process of how landscape layouts mitigate oppressiveness through visual elements and behavioral intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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17 pages, 4762 KiB  
Article
The Design of a Posture Instruction Atlas and the Prevention of Construction Workers’ Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs): A Study on Attention Allocation and Cognitive Load Based on Eye Tracking
by Yewei Ouyang, Cheng Cheng, Dan Wang, Shiyi He and Lan Zheng
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14207; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914207 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Training construction workers in safe postures for their tasks could help them avoid unsafe postures and reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). This study compared two forms of atlas design in facilitating workers’ learning postures, including their differences in guiding workers’ attention allocation and [...] Read more.
Training construction workers in safe postures for their tasks could help them avoid unsafe postures and reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). This study compared two forms of atlas design in facilitating workers’ learning postures, including their differences in guiding workers’ attention allocation and cognitive load during the learning process. One kind of atlas graphically shows the correct postures to perform construction tasks, and the other adds wrong demonstrations alongside the right ones. Eye-tracking technology was utilized to measure attention allocation and cognitive load. An experimental study was conducted, with 52 construction workers being invited as participants. The results indicated that workers significantly distributed more attention to diagrams than texts and more attention to diagrams showing execution postures than preparatory postures. Moreover, the workers had significantly longer fixation durations on the key body parts when there were wrong demonstrations, which ultimately improved their learning outcomes. There were no significant differences in cognitive load. Suggestions for designing an instructional atlas to enhance construction workers’ occupational health education can be obtained from the findings, including applying diagrams more instead of texts to describe how to correctly perform construction tasks, emphasizing the importance of preparation posture when performing construction tasks, and adding wrong demonstrations showing consequences, with visual cues being positioned on the key body parts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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20 pages, 1724 KiB  
Article
The Influence Mechanism of the Community Subjectively Built Environment on the Physical and Mental Health of Older Adults
by Lingyi Xu, Huiran Han, Chengfeng Yang and Qingfang Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713211 - 3 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
In order to clarify the mechanism by which subjectively built environments impact the physical and mental health of older adults and promote the construction of “healthy aging” and “healthy cities,” this study develops a structural equation model based on questionnaire data from older [...] Read more.
In order to clarify the mechanism by which subjectively built environments impact the physical and mental health of older adults and promote the construction of “healthy aging” and “healthy cities,” this study develops a structural equation model based on questionnaire data from older adults in Hefei and constructs a mechanism of a “community subjectively built environment—physical and mental health” with leisure physical activities and social interaction activities as mediators. The results indicate that the specific combination of subjectively built environmental factors such as community safety and security, internal supportive living facilities, a green environment, a walking environment, and a degree of beautification significantly impacts the physical and mental health of older adults. Leisure physical activity and social interaction activities play different roles in mediation, forming two sets of action mechanisms: “community-built environment—leisure physical activity—physical health” and “community-built environment—social interaction activity—physical and mental health.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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19 pages, 3761 KiB  
Article
Habitual Activities for People with Dementia: The Role of Interiors in Supporting Their Development after Relocating to a Care Environment
by Jing Chen, Silvia Maria Gramegna, Alessandro Biamonti and Yuwei Cao
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12324; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612324 - 13 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
People with dementia have pre-reactive instincts, known as bodily habits, that allow them to continue with habitual activities. According to recent research, continuing and developing habitual activities in care facilities can help individuals with dementia establish a deep-rooted sense of home. Three aspects [...] Read more.
People with dementia have pre-reactive instincts, known as bodily habits, that allow them to continue with habitual activities. According to recent research, continuing and developing habitual activities in care facilities can help individuals with dementia establish a deep-rooted sense of home. Three aspects of developing habitual activity are critical in this process: continuing habitual activities fluidly, incorporating positive interaction into these habitual activities, and carrying out these habitual activities regularly. Based on this foundation, this article discusses how the interior environment of care facilities can support these three aspects of habitual activity for people living with dementia. Three cases in a long-term care facility were in-depth examined by using the microethnography approach. The study produced four themes. These themes emphasize the importance of organizing and managing the interior environment to support dementia residents’ habitual activities. In addition, it emphasizes that caregivers and institutional regulations influence the organizational role of the interior environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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17 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
How Technology-Based Interventions Can Sustain Ageing Well in the New Decade through the User-Driven Approach
by Magdalen Velciu, Luiza Spiru, Mircea Dan Marzan, Eva Reithner, Simona Geli, Barbara Borgogni, Oana Cramariuc, Irina G. Mocanu, Jerzy Kołakowski, Jaouhar Ayadi, Margherita Rampioni and Vera Stara
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310330 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
The worldwide population is undergoing a fundamental change in its age structure, which challenges the health- and social-services system. The need to migrate towards a more person-centered and coordinated model of care that supports the optimization of abilities and capacities for older people [...] Read more.
The worldwide population is undergoing a fundamental change in its age structure, which challenges the health- and social-services system. The need to migrate towards a more person-centered and coordinated model of care that supports the optimization of abilities and capacities for older people has to be matched. In this sense, eHealth technologies can play a fundamental role. In this paper, through a questionnaire-based data collection using 30 primary (older people) and 32 secondary (informal caregivers) end-users, we share our vision on how to sustainably develop a product by optimizing the user experience and ensuring adoption. We hypothesized that a technology-based intervention can promote healthy ageing through informed and active user involvement at all stages of the care process. Both older adults and caregivers consider the use of a smartphone and smartwatch to be very important; in addition, the use of digital devices for healthcare can be helpful. Seniors care about self-monitoring health parameters through the use of wearable devices, regardless of their health status, and would like to be included in the process of making good health decisions, because they need to feel in control of their healthcare process. Digital solutions in health and care can support the well-being of older adults in many areas of their daily lives, both at home and in their communities, but only if such innovation is designed around the natural voice of the intended target. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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18 pages, 5337 KiB  
Article
Elevating Children’s Play Experience: A Design Intervention to Enhance Children’s Social Interaction in Park Playgrounds
by Jhu-Ting Yang, Ching-I Chen and Meng-Cong Zheng
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6971; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086971 - 21 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2276
Abstract
Peer interaction through play is one approach to stimulating preschool children’s growth. The outdoor playground facilities in parks are ideal places for children to practice their social skills. This study utilized nonparticipant observation to observe and record children’s play behaviors and interactions with [...] Read more.
Peer interaction through play is one approach to stimulating preschool children’s growth. The outdoor playground facilities in parks are ideal places for children to practice their social skills. This study utilized nonparticipant observation to observe and record children’s play behaviors and interactions with others to ascertain whether outdoor playground facilities favor peer interaction. We summarized the design elements of peer-interaction-promoting playground facilities to optimize the facilities by determining the types of environments and facilities that trigger peer interaction. This study discovered that children spent most of their time in solo play and the least in peer interaction. Such interaction occurred only in spaces in which children stopped briefly. After installing a new bubble machine designed to increase peer interaction, solo play behaviors and parent–child interactions became less frequent for children younger than six years old, whereas peer interaction became more frequent. During the peer interaction of children aged 3 to 6, the frequency of level one, three, and four interactions increased. They also displayed level five behaviors, which were not observed before the installation. The new facility triggered higher-level behaviors, such as cooperation and playing together, enhancing peer interaction between different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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0 pages, 3608 KiB  
Article
Satisfaction with and Continuous Usage Intention towards Mobile Health Services: Translating Users’ Feedback into Measurement
by Yu Fu, Yuanyuan Wang, Xinhui Ye, Weifang Wu and Jianfeng Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021101 - 6 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
With advances in information and communication technology and the rapid development of the mobile Internet, mobile health (m-health) management applications (apps) play a key role in modern health assistance programs. However, m-health management apps still face major dilemmas in ensuring user satisfaction and [...] Read more.
With advances in information and communication technology and the rapid development of the mobile Internet, mobile health (m-health) management applications (apps) play a key role in modern health assistance programs. However, m-health management apps still face major dilemmas in ensuring user satisfaction and continuous use. Based on resolving the contradiction between the multiple complex and ambiguous demands of users and the limited development resources of companies, this study explores ways to improve user satisfaction and the willingness to sustain m-health management app usage to build efficient and clear m-health management app demand insights and development strategies. This study integrates the advantages of the Kano model and the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. From the systematic level, an attribute acquisition-classification-key attribute extraction and influence relationship quantification-hierarchy analytic hierarchy model was built. The research results provide implications for further improvement efforts to consider not only technological capabilities but also effective insights into the attributes that are highly expected by users, thus improving the accuracy of app function positioning and, in turn, enhancing user satisfaction and continuous usage intention. Additionally, the results provide decision-makers in enterprises and relevant research and development (R&D) departments with clear and efficient app requirement relationships and development strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

16 pages, 1928 KiB  
Review
Bibliometric Review of Design for Digital Inclusion
by Guanyu Li, Dian Li and Tang Tang
Sustainability 2023, 15(14), 10962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151410962 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
The digitalization of the world has rendered design for digital inclusion particularly important, which highlights the need to gain a comprehensive understanding of this field. The purpose of this review is to reveal the current development of the field of design for digital [...] Read more.
The digitalization of the world has rendered design for digital inclusion particularly important, which highlights the need to gain a comprehensive understanding of this field. The purpose of this review is to reveal the current development of the field of design for digital inclusion and identify research gaps and directions.Therefore, this study adopted bibliometric mapping to achieve the research goal. A total of 721 relevant articles in English were identified from Scopus. Descriptive analysis, including the publication trend, the most cited journals, the most cited articles, and the top authors with institutions, is described in order to trace the state-of-the-art development of the field. Network analysis, including bibliographic coupling and co-occurrence keywords, was used to identify research themes and future research directions. The results reveal four main investigated topics in the field: (1) information technology; (2) online education; (3) assistive technology; and (4) digital health. The review also highlights the distinctive features of design for digital inclusion compared to inclusive design, discusses the research gaps, and offers potential future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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Other

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19 pages, 6775 KiB  
Case Report
Influencing Motivations Linked to the Adoption of Improved Flame-Based Cookstoves among Indigent South African Households: A Behaviour-Centred Design Approach
by Marcel Maré, Mugendi K. M’Rithaa and Alettia Chisin
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065328 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1458
Abstract
The adoption of energy-efficient, clean, and safe cookstoves can improve the health of poor sub-Saharan households and reduce mortality and poverty, as identified in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite multiple interventions to increase the adoption of improved stoves and clean [...] Read more.
The adoption of energy-efficient, clean, and safe cookstoves can improve the health of poor sub-Saharan households and reduce mortality and poverty, as identified in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite multiple interventions to increase the adoption of improved stoves and clean fuels, few interventions have borne fruit on a significant scale. The lack of adoption is shared in South Africa. (1) Background: The deleterious health hazards associated with flame-based cooking mainly affect women and children due to using portable and cheap paraffin (kerosene) cookstoves or self-constructed metal barrel wood stoves. A shift to improved cookstoves requires significant changes in users’ behaviour. Understanding and addressing the motivations for cookstove adoption and long-term use is critical for successfully implementing behavioural change campaigns. (2) Methods: A case study methodology is employed to evaluate the effectiveness of a behaviour-centred design (BCD) approach aimed at influencing cookstove-related motivations among low-income households in Dunoon, South Africa; the study gathers data via structured observations, co-creative workshops, and card-based choice questionnaires before and after a pilot intervention. (3) Results: The survey conducted before and after the abridged BCD intervention implementation in Dunoon indicates that the majority of touchpoints achieved significant success in influencing the selected cookstove-related motivations of the sampled households, further corroborated by an observed shift in household cookstove ownership patterns targeted by the intervention. (4) Conclusions: A BCD approach suggests possible methods for understanding and influencing the complex motivations determining cookstove use in a context similar to South Africa. The results suggest that linking pertinent motivations to a selected set of touchpoints as part of a cookstove-related campaign can influence cookstove-related motivations linked to the adoption of improved flame-based cookstoves in a localised South African low-income context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design for Behavioural Change, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability)
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