How to Use Color in Your PT Clinic to Improve the Patient Experience

Did you know that color plays an important role in how we feel? From stirring our hunger receptors to calming our mood, color can have a profound impact on our mood. Why is this important in a clinician setting? Patients are coming in with pain, possible reservations due to prior bad experiences, and may be fearful. By utilizing the right colors in the right settings at your PT clinic you can help create a mood that is inspiring, calming, and makes both your staff and patients feel good. Let’s take a closer look at what the psychology of color is all about, how to use it, and which colors are best for your PT clinic.


What is Color Psychology?

Color Psychology is a popular theory on the impact of colors on our moods and desires. However, what’s most interesting about the theory of color is that it seems to be relative to culture. This means that while some colors like red, which have a seemingly universal effect on mood and emotions, other colors like white or black may have evoked a different reaction depending on the culture. The effect color has on you is also determined by early memories, hues, and tones. Check out these fun studies that have been done on the effect color has on our moods and emotions.

  • Warm colored placebo pills have been reported to be more effective than cool or blue-colored placebo pills
  • Blue-colored street lights have been thought to reduce crime
  • Exposing students to the color red before a test can have a negative impact on the student’s testing performance.


Now that you’re a bit more familiar with the psychology of color, let’s take a look at how you can use the power of color to make the physical therapy clinic experience better.


1) Use Red or Orange to Increase Excitement

Red and orange have been shown to increase excitement. Use these colors in your exercise areas that may require a bit more intensity. Red and/or orange will excite and motivate your patients to move.

2) Use Blue to Keep Patients Calm

Shades of blue or images of blue items out in nature can have a relaxing and calming effect on patients. Use this color in your waiting area, in low-intensity exercise areas such as meditation rooms, or just anywhere in your clinic where you want and need to evoke a sense of calm.

3) Use Beige and Gray for Neutral Areas

Neutral areas can include private offices, waiting rooms, bathrooms, etc. Neutral colors do not evoke strong emotions and can help balance both patient and staff’s moods. You can incorporate softer textures and textiles to keep the neutral areas from feeling too cold or harsh.

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Brook Phillips