How Our Workplace Influences Our Health

How Our Workplace Influences Our Health

There is a simple way to increase your productivity at work while improving your mood, and it is easier than you think.

“Scientific studies demonstrate that”… How many times have you heard this sentence?

This time is true: interesting scientific studies conducted by prestigious universities – even by NASA! – demonstrates that the bad quality of the air, especially in the closed environments where we spend the most of our days, affects our sleep, concentration and even our health.

It has happened to all of us to feel tired and sick at the office, with the consequence of not being able to concentrate and always on the verge of a colossal headache. It may depend on the bad air quality inside the room.

Outdoor air pollution is one of the major global health problems, to which are attributed more 3 million deaths every year. But, considering how bad is the quality of the air in indoor environments, the attention of scientist has recently shifted to indoor air pollution as one of the leading risk factors for premature death, responsible for 1.6 million deceases each year.

It is well known that the high concentration of CO2 affects our body and reduce our working performance. It is a serious problem which also the WHO is caring about and to which NASA has given the name of Sick Building Syndrome.

In fact, the air circulation indoors is often insufficient due to buildings’ heat maintenance systems and other ecological conditions, and for this reason the exhausted air can’t be purified from odours and pollutants. This problem causes a strange but very common condition for which people are affected by symptoms of illness and stress for no apparent reason.

Recently, a research conducted by Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment enables us to understand how important it is to have a good environment for a better cognitive performance. The results of this research, conducted on twenty-four participants in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, show that in presence of plants cognitive functions perform better across several domains, including crisis response and strategic thinking.

Improving the quality of the air, for example at the office, will boost both productivity and health of employees, it would be a double benefit deriving from a simple action. It works. And if you don’t benefit from it on in terms of concentration, at least the workplace would be more comfortable and the working atmosphere less stressful.

The quality of the air influences and affects our health, and it is important to preserve and improve it. We spend the 90% of our day indoor, and the results of these scientific study demonstrate that the quality of the air in indoor environments plays a critical role in our overall well-being.

A good start to improve your living or working environment would be to frequently ventilate the spaces if possible, letting fresh air circulating inside the room, and to furnish the office with plants which will naturally purify the environment through their natural processes. If you don’t have time to take care of your plants, or you work in a shared office, buying an air purifier could solve things easily: it has been designed for eliminating the air contaminants and allergens which remain in the air and to reduce the levels of air pollutants in enclosed spaces.

Taking these simple measures and making these small changes within the environment where we live can really change our health and improve our living conditions for the better.

To care about our environment and our health is fundamental, and nowadays it is very easy to take action improve their quality. If not now, when?

 

 - Alessandra Z.


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