Air In Your Office Could Be Making You Dumber

Feel like you’re not giving your 100 percent at the workplace? Well, it may not be entirely your fault. A new study claims that brain power is almost 50 percent diminished by the air we breathe at the office. To help eliminate this fact, the atmosphere must be kept clean and toxic-free.

What The Researchers Did

Researchers placed 24 professionals – engineers, architects and designers – in a specialized office set up within a lab at Syracuse University for six days. The individuals were provided with tools to adjust the levels of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds regularly. After the six days, the participants took a cognition test every afternoon that rated nine aspects of mental functioning, such as strategy, crisis response and information usage.

Office Workers Health: What The Researchers Found

“The results are striking”, stated lead researcher Joseph Allen.

The scores of the participants increased an average of 61 percent on ‘green days’ when the amounts of volatile organic compounds was lower, and a shocking 101 percent on ‘green+’ days, which included lower levels of volatile organic compounds along with a high rate of outdoor ventilation rate.

Despite the fact that carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds and ventilation all affected the participant scores, the involvement of carbon dioxide is significant. “For decades, almost everyone thought that carbon dioxide at the concentrations seen in buildings had no effect on people”.

Office Workers Health Issue What Needs To Be Done

Unfortunately, most buildings are designed to enclose air for saving energy. This raises the concentrations of volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide, which also comes from air fresheners, flooring, paint, leaky furnaces and furniture. This research potentially identifies a lesser looked into problem that must be dealt with to improve work performance.


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