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Podcast: “Not Designed for Health” with PHI’s Steve Downs

PHI’s Steve Downs, co-founder of Building H, joins The Other 80 podcast to discuss how Building H is helping companies and designers re-engineer products and “product environments” so they improve rather than harm health.

Steve Downs with The Other 80 logo

PHI’s Building H aims to reverse chronic disease in the U.S. by building health into everyday life. Building H believes the infrastructure of our daily life—food, transportation and housing, and entertainment—can be reimagined with health and well-being as explicit design goals.

In the episode “Not Designed for Health,” PHI’s Steve Downs joins The Other 80 podcast to discuss how Building H is helping companies and designers re-engineer products and “product environments” so they improve rather than harm health.

Listen here

Speakers discuss:

  • Shocking trends in American health: 48% of Americans are lonely, 35% don’t get six hours a night of sleep and 60% of adult calories come from ultra-processed food.
  • The mistake of thinking of our daily choices as “individual” decisions, when these decisions are profoundly shaped by our environments and the products we use.
  • The Building H Index, which evaluates everyday products against five metrics of health: eating, physical activity, sleep, social connection, and spending time outdoors.
  • Culdesac – A real-estate developer that is building “cities for people without cars”.
headshot of Steve Downs
McDonald's is not responsible for all the food related chronic illnesses in America. But you might argue that they are, I don't know, 1.7%, responsible or 3.8% responsible … I think we ultimately need to get to a place where if your product is leading to unhealthy behaviors, which is leading to illness and disease and cost, there may need to be some accountability for that. Steve Downs

co-founder of Building H

Originally published by The Other 80


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