The SFA® analysis takes into consideration how different negative physical sensory stimuli can be decreased in the specific space (especially noise, view area and its protection, alertness, lighting, colour tones, air quality, layout, electromagnetic fields) and how to fulfil the regulation of different sensory stimuli and the dramaturgical story of the space in an interesting way. Sjöroos has developed, among other things, the “definition of six pollutants” – as well as the terms “sensory-friendly design” – “multisensory ergonomics”.

The Stress free area® analysis and design also takes into account the usability (which includes, in addition to the physical, how the combinations of vision, hearing, and senses, such as the sense of balance, function together), functional and cultural needs as a space to create a brand; and building trust in creating and enabling encounters through neurophysiological and cultural means. Attention is paid to the requirements and needs of the activities and the different nature and negative stressors of the related facilities, as well as to the means to reduce negative stressors and regulate the environment.

Stress free area® – utopia or Stress free area®, meaning completely free of negative stressors in the physical, digital and mental environment, is as such, an ideal state that will probably never be fully achieved and is not necessary.

However, it is very important to think about the spaces also in terms of senses and the brain, negative stress and alertness. From the perspective of wellbeing, the combined effect of the senses is more significant than only one of the senses being considered. And just as good manners can be a utopia, they are nonetheless important and worth pursuing. Likewise, a state with as few negative sensory stimuli as possible is equally important and worth pursuing.

If the aim of the design is to promote wellbeing, quality of life and good feelings, it is important to look at the concept of wellbeing and extend it from cultural to neurophysiology and ecology.


The Stress free area® concept is a perspective to look at the physical, digital and mental world from a neurophysiological, cultural and ecological perspective. The aim is to reduce negative stressors, influence the state of alertness to support various functions, and create a sensory-friendly, comfortable space and environment that serves its users.

The design utilizes the Stress free area® -concept where possible, e.g. dramaturgic, organizational and story-supporting, planned, BA and Workplace thinking.

Wellbeing design from a neurophysiological point of view aims to reduce negative physical and digital stressors already at the design stage, planning in a multidisciplinary way and taking into account different alertness needs with multisensory aspects, created with sensory-friendly designing, and utilizing behavioural sciences, the nature and functions of the spaces, including social needs such as trust, sense of security and encountering, and neurophysiological elements such as the brain’s wellbeing, the amount of sensory stimuli, quality and properties, as well as nature and their adjustment – elements.

The applications of the innovation can thus be, for example, building design and built (residential, etc.) urban environments, work, hotel, catering, technology, office, learning, training and creativity workspaces and environments, wellfare, social and healthcare buildings and environments.


There is an individual and social dimension to wellbeing. It is also a cultural issue: what common customs and norms have been learned and adopted, as well as what is revered and supported in a communal way, rules of conduct, values and attitudes are reflected in people’s wellbeing behaviour. If the goal it to promote wellbeing and quality of life with design, it is good to look at the concept of wellbeing and extend it from culture to neurophysiology and ecology.

It is also important to restore a human scale and attitude to design Bridging the gap between the built and the natural environment: the values are moderation, gratitude and a return to more traditional basics. In addition to this, there is a neurophysiological perspective – how the body responds to internal and external stresses, e.g. negative stressors and how they could be avoided.

The Stress free area® design is about wellbeing and the quality, quantity, properties and nature of the design elements associated with it, as well as the adjustability. A key factor in adjustability is the user of the space and their ability to become aware of their own physical and mental state as part of the physically constructed space according to the current life situation. Human is always a physical and mental entity, so work environments (physical, digital, mental) should also be seen in a multidisciplinary and multisensory way.

The Stress Free Area® -concept created the terms sensory ergonomics, multisensory ergonomics, sensory-friendly design and 6 pollution definitions in 2003. The Stress Free Area® -concept extends the concept of ergonomics to brain ergonomics, which includes physical ergonomics as well as visual and auditory ergonomics. The Stress free area® -concept can be applied from urban planning to product and management planning.


The Stress free area® -concept has been developed by Margit Sjöroos since 1996. The concept is the only one of its kind in the world and registered as a trademark in Finland, the United States, Russia, China and the EU. The demo of the concept was in 2004, which has been followed by pilots in Finland and abroad.

The concept works in research collaboration with the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences and the Department of Psychology of the University of Helsinki, the University of Oulu, the National Institute of Occupational Health and Aalto University, among others.

The concept has been awarded with its partners, including Helsingin Messut Oy’s Innovative Idea Award in 2004, the Youth Chamber of Commerce’s Productive Idea Award in 2006, and in 2008 NCC Property Development Oy was awarded the Real Estate Award as the world’s 3rd best developer of office concepts (Stress free area® is part of the Future Office of NC ’s office concepts). The concept was also part of the TOTI (functional workspaces) research project of the National Institute of Occupational Health and Aalto University, as well as multi-sensory learning environment research and the joint RYM research project of the Finnish Real Estate Association and Tekes.

Articles in the media:

The Stress free area® concept has been featured several times
in international and Finnish media.

  • Akustiikka estetiikka 2010: ”Siltamäen koulussa luotiin unelmaluokka”

    -Asokodit 2/2008: ”Kodista voimia jaksamiseen”

    -Autismi 4/2019: ”Erityisryhmät hyvinvointimme tuntosarvina”

    -Avotakka 8/2009: ”Kaaoksen taltuttaja” 4/2006: ”Stressinpurkaja”

    -Blue Wings September 2013: ”Sensory Stress-reduction”

    -Ecophon asiakaslehti 2010: ”Siltamäen koulussa luotiin unelmaluokka”

    -Hopperi 3/2011: ”Pelaamo pyörähti liikkeelle”


    -Hyvä Terveys -lehti 13.9.2013, nro 11/2012: “Sisusta stressi pois”

    -Kauppalehti 6.2.2012: Toimiala-liite

    -Kodin Kuvalehti 5.9.2013, nro 18/2013, ”Aistien Onnela”

    -Kodin Pellervo 7.7.2011 ”Ymmärrys parempaan elämään”

    -Kodinrakentaja -lehti 10.7.2013, nro 06/2013: ”Koti vailla stressiä”

  • Me Naiset 10.6.2004: ”Lepoa hermoille” 

    -Me Naiset 27.10.2011: ”Kauppoja kaikessa rauhassa – stressitön toimisto”

    -MLL Lapsemme 1/2015: ”Aistit tarvitsevat lepoa”

    -NCC asiakaslehti 2/2008: ”Future office – satsaus tulevaisuuteen”

    -NCC Business Parks ”Mielentiloja” -esite

    -Rakentavasti 2010-2011: ”NCC Business Parks 20 vuotta”

    -Spaces 1/2009: ”Kylästä kaupunkiin – Mercuri Oy:n uudet toimitilat”

    -Taitoluistelun MM 2017 –esite

    -Turvallisuus 5/2008: ”Aistiystävällinen sisustussuunnittelu kannattaa – Aggressiivisuus ja työtapaturmat vähenevät”

    -Voi hyvin 7/09: ”Selätä stressi”

    -Yle Uutiset 30.3.2018: ”Alakoulun oppilaat rauhoittuvat oikeanlaisella sisustuksella”

    Yle Uutiset 8.8.2019: ”Stressitön koulu?”

  • Kodin Kuvalehti 5.9.2013, nro 18/2013, ”Aistien Onnela”
  • Hyvä Terveys -lehti 13.9.2013, nro 11/2012: “Sisusta stressi pois”
  • MLL Lapsemme 1/2015: ”Aistit tarvitsevat lepoa”
  • Yle Uutiset 30.3.2018: ”Alakoulun oppilaat rauhoittuvat oikeanlaisella sisustuksella”
  • Autismi 4/2019: ”Erityisryhmät hyvinvointimme tuntosarvina”
  • Yle Uutiset 8.8.2019: ”Stressitön koulu?”
  • Voi hyvin 7/09: ”Selätä stressi”


  • Mercuri International Oy
  • NCC Property Development Oy
  • NCC Rakennus Oy
  • Dazzle Oy
  • Saint-Gobain Rakennustarvikkeet Oy
  • Kemira Oyj
  • Kiinko
  • Haaga-Helia
  • Rastor Oy
  • Martela Oyj
  • Fazer Amica
  • Kuluttajavirasto
  • Holiday Club Resorts Oy
  • Villa Jussoila/Wiktio Oy
  • Aalto Yliopisto
  • Aalto Yliopisto Acsi innovaatioleiri
  • Aalto Yliopiston Ylioppilaskunta
  • Helsinki Missio
  • Kampin Ostoskeskus
  • Plandata Oy
  • RAY
  • Helsingin kaupungin Nuorisoasiainkeskus
  • Asikkalan kunta
  • Vantaan kaupunki
  • Consti Julkisivut Oy
  • Consti Talotekniikka Oy 
  • Consti Yhtiöt Oy
  • Case: Holiday Club Saimaa




4 + 14 =