Open Floor Plans May Expand Waistlines

Open floor plans are in demand in today’s housing market. But listings lacking one may not be hampered after all. In fact, if a new study is right, you might even turn that closed floor plan into a selling point: Its results suggest that open floor plans cause home owners to overeat, which in turn could make them gain weight.

Easy access to the kitchen in an open floor plan could prompt more visits to grab something to eat, the study suggests. Researchers in the study, recently published in the journal Environment and Behavior, found that participants in an open floor plan made about 10 percent more serving trips than participants in a home with a closed floor plan. Each time they got up to snack, participants ended up consuming an average of 170 more calories in the open setting plan than in the closed floor plan.

Open kitchen-dining area floor plans remove visual and physical barriers between humans and food. The survey results suggest that people may eat more in a dining area with direct view of and access to the serving area, versus a separate dining space. In order to reduce food consumption, serving areas should be placed out of sight from diners. Diners may also choose to eat in areas facing away or separated from buffet-style serving areas.

Open floor plans may be great entertaining spaces by putting the kitchen on display, but architects may want to rethink their design approaches given that too much openness of a kitchen and eating areas may prompt people to overeat.

Source: “How Your Open Floor Plan Could Be Affecting Your Health,” Chicago Tribune (Sept. 23, 2016)

For the professional guidance and advice you need to make a wise decision, call or text Bob Reid at Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt at (616) 821-4375.

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