As an interior designer, I often approach healthcare design as an opportunity to inspire people and promote a healthy lifestyle. One question I’m frequently asked is: How can we best provide for the growing bariatric population nationally?

HGA’s healthcare interior designers developed a simple yet inspiring solution for the Owatonna (Minn.) Hospital replacement facility and integrated Owatonna Clinic expansion, now nearing completion.

Our design team worked with Owatonna leadership to develop an interior Wellness Walk that benefits the entire hospital population—staff, healthcare providers, and patients. Here are some highlights:

  • The Wellness Walk is not an add-on space but is part of a planned circulation corridor for the new hospital.
  • The interior path connects off the main entrance and leads past such hospital functions as a gift shop, cafeteria, physical therapy department, solarium and outdoor walking path, eventually looping back toward the main entrance.
  • The Wellness Walk engages the senses and imagination as it encourages people to walk for health. Large windows bathe the corridor in light, savoring exterior views beyond as the sun reflects off the terrazzo floors.
  • Custom-designed vinyl wall covering with subtle images of tree branches add visual interest. Interspersed among the branches are universal words of greeting and inspiration in multiple languages—welcome, courage, harmony, community, knowledge, rejuvenate.

Because the Wellness Walk is part of a planned circulation corridor, it had nominal budget impact while offering accessible exercise options.

Wellness Walks are a great way you can help your clients practice what they preach by promoting wellness, getting staff and patients motivated to exercise, fighting obesity, and adding cost-effective value to clients’ projects within the existing building plan.