Whether you are studying for an important exam or completing your qualifications to get into the university of your choice, the space in which you study is key.
One 2017 study published in the journal Thinking Skills and Creativity, showed that the right learning environment can foster critical thinking, yet the learning environment means so much more than having the right teacher, learning strategies, and shared control over your own learning.
It also means having the right physical environment; one that is conducive to learning and one that helps you study while you employ your preferred learning style.
The following steps help you to create a great study room in your home.
Creating Your Ideal Home Study Room
1. Natural Light is Key
Research has shown that sunnier study rooms lead to smarter, happier students and promote better performance. Ideally, you should position your room in an area that lets in plenty of natural light.
You can use awnings to lower the amount of light in the summer (when the sun is highest). If budgeting isn’t a problem, there are high-end automatic gradient panel systems that work automatically. ‘following’ the sunlight and rotating to ensure that a room always has as much light as possible. These systems can also be programmed by users, who can pick the exact amount of light and the angle at which it enters a room.
2. Setting the Perfect Temperature
Nigeria is known for its beautiful sunny temperature, but when harmattan blows towards the Western coast of Africa, specific states (including Enugu, Sokoto, and Ekiti) can get rather chilly. On occasion, ice rain has fallen in Jos, and that can mean that heating is necessary for optimal comfort while studying.
Wall-mounted fireplaces are excellent for those seeking sleek aesthetics without any smoke. Attached fireplaces won’t take up space, so your floor space will be freed up for a bigger study desk, storage furniture for your materials, etc.
3. Calming Colours
The colours you choose for your furniture, walls, and floors, affect your mood and performance in more ways than you think.
A plethora of studies have been carried out on colour, with findings showing that blue boosts creativity, while red is ideal for enhancing attention to detail.
“The avoidance motivation, or heightened state, that red activates makes us vigilant and thus helps us perform tasks where careful attention is required to produce a right or wrong answer,” noted scientists.
Blue, on the other hand, makes us feel safe, creative, and exploratory.
4. Ergonomics Count
Many students spend hours straight sitting at their desks. This can damage health in the long run, with the sedentary lifestyle being linked to obesity and heart disease.
If you can, invest in a standing desk, which will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing positions. Make sure your seat is adjustable, so you can have your legs and elbows at 90º and your back supported, with your feet flat on the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, use a footrest for comfort.
5. The Sounds of Silence… or Music
Despite the silence imposed in the average library, this quality isn’t always favoured by students.
Do you find that you are more productive when listening to music? When designing your study room, consider fitting it with a sound system or any other device that can play music.
Studies have shown that Baroque music such as that composed by Bach, Handel, or Telemann (which contains 50 to 80 beats per minute) lead students to a state of deep concentration that can hone their memory and learning abilities. Music can also help if you have a creative project at hand.
One 2017 study published in the journal PLOS found that listening to happy music can enhance one’s divergent creativity.