|Office air quality affects workers' cognitive function, study shows |
A US study has found that air quality inside an office can have a significant impact on workers' cognitive function, including their response times and ability to focus. "We have a huge body of research on the exposure to outdoor pollution, but we spend 90 percent of our time indoors," observed Jose Guillermo Cedeno Laurent, a research fellow at Harvard University and lead author of the paper published in Environmental Research Letters. He and his colleagues studied 302 office workers in six countries (China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the US and the UK) over a period of a year. Workspaces were fitted with an environmental sensor to monitor real time concentrations of fine particulate matter 2.5 micrometres and smaller, PM2.5, as well as carbon dioxide, temperature, and relative humidity. The study ended in March 2020 when the pandemic precipitated global lockdowns.