Indoor Health and Productivity in Workplaces and Schools
The Indoor Health and Productivity report, a National Science and Technology Council Project, shows that indoor environments affect productivity in schools and workplaces.
Improving the indoor environment will not only decrease energy costs and healthcare costs, but also improve health, performance, and attendance.
Here are some key findings from the report:
- Research suggests that low ventilation rates and less daylight can adversely affect student performance.
- Children are especially susceptible to indoor air quality problems because their lungs are smaller and they breathe higher volumes of air compared to their body weights.
- In one study, increased daylight in schools (with adequately dimensioned and positioned windows and skylights) improved standardized test scores by 15-26%.
- Contaminated air in schools is associated with a 10-20% increase in student absences.
- Sick building syndrome affects 16 million Americans annually, including 23% of office workers and teachers.
- Reducing sick building syndrome symptoms could increase productivity by up to $30 billion in the U.S.
- Ventilation and humidity are associated with short-term sick leave among workers.
To improve the attendance and performance of your students or employees – and to live a healthier life at home – you must pay attention to your indoor environment. It directly affects health and productivity.
Here are some tips for improving the indoor environment and increasing productivity:
- Add more natural light to the indoor environment with full spectrum lights.
- Remove contaminants from the air with air purifiers.
- Monitor the humidity and normalize it with dehumidifiers and humidifiers.
- Make sure everyone is comfortable with the indoor temperature; use portable air conditioners and heaters to adjust the temperature in specific problem areas.