How Our Surroundings Influence Happiness and Health | SBS Downtown

How Our Surroundings Influence Happiness and Health

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 6:30pm

Do the places and spaces around us affect our happiness and health? Dr. Sternberg will show how our physical environment, experienced through each of the senses, can affect emotions and trigger the brain’s stress or relaxation responses. These in turn explain how place and space around can either help healing or potentially harm health. Dr. Sternberg will review the many connections between the brain and the immune system, which underlie these effects. Dr. Sternberg’s research enables individuals to structure their environment and activities to best buffer the negative effects of stress, helps healthcare providers judge how and when to apply mind-body therapies, and assists healthcare and hospital designers in creating spaces that facilitate healing. These principles also apply to the effects of the larger world on health, including urban design, which are both good for the environment and help sustain health.

About the Speaker
Esther Sternberg
Esther Sternberg
Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Esther Sternberg joined the UA in 2012 as Professor of Medicine and Research Director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine with join appointments in the UA Institute of the Environment and the UA College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture.  Dr. Sternberg’s discoveries of the role of the central nervous system and the brain's stress response in susceptibility to arthritis and other diseases, including depression, were amongst the first to provide a scientific basis for the importance of the mind-body connection in health and disease. Dr. Sternberg is recognized by the National Library of Medicine as one of 300 women physicians who changed the face of medicine.  Her books include Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being and The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions.