Photograph by DIANE COOK, LEN JENSHEL, National Geographic
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A green roof outside a Manhattan office could reduce stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and help mitigate the urban heat island effect. Tenants who overlook this terrace benefit too: Being exposed to nature and greenery can reduce stress and improve concentration.

Photograph by DIANE COOK, LEN JENSHEL, National Geographic

Quiz: How Do Buildings Impact Our Health?

Test your knowledge—and learn the unexpected ways we benefit from design.

Whether it’s exercise, stress levels, or sleep, the buildings that surround us can help—or hurt—us, depending on how they’re built. As cities move toward green buildings, researchers are taking into account how the amount of time people spend indoors—90 percent of our lives—affects health. As a result, architects and city planners are designing buildings to create a better quality of life in our urban areas.

(After you’ve taken the quiz, read more: “5 Surprising Ways Buildings Can Improve Our Health”)

This article is part of our Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society.