The Real Deal New York

Could “mirco apartments” be detrimental to your health?

December 21, 2013 12:00PM

 New York City is short on studio and one-bedroom apartments, which has led to the rise of the much touted “mirco-unit.” But can living in such a small space for a prolonged period be damaging to your health?

“Sure, these micro-apartments may be fantastic for young professionals in their 20’s,” Dak Kopec, director of design for human health at Boston Architectural College and author of Environmental Psychology for Design, told the Atlantic. “But they definitely can be unhealthy for older people, say in their 30’s and 40’s, who face different stress factors that can make tight living conditions a problem.”

And Susan Saegert, professor of environmental psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center and director of the Housing Environments Research Group, agrees that the micro-apartments may pose health risks for the elderly and families.

“I’ve studied children in crowded apartments and low-income housing a lot,” Saegert said, “and they can end up becoming withdrawn, and have trouble studying and concentrating.”

And modern amenities like floor to ceiling windows, extra storage and a roof deck aren’t likely to help Saegert added. Children, she said, need privacy in their everyday life. [The Atlantic]Christopher Cameron