New Paper – Indoor air quality and well-being among office workers

A new paper in Building and Environment examines indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and its effects on human well-being in office space.  Objective indoor air quality parameters and their association to respiratory health and well-being among office workers, authored by Hooman Parhizkar, Pablo Taddei, Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, Eileen McNeely, John D. Spengler and Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent set out to understand the associations between environmental and social factors of work and human health in order to improve the design and operation of commercial real estate to support the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.

Despite the large body of literature on the effects of IEQ on occupant satisfaction, physical and mental health, most of these studies have explored each of these outcomes separately and do not take a holistic approach to employee well-being. One of the challenges of studying the impact of environmental factors on human well-being is finding a comprehensive yet easy-to-implement health assessment tool. The study authors used the Flourishing Index (FI) – which includes happiness and life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships, domains not used in other well-being assessment tools – to assess the well-being more comprehensively than other well-being related questionnaires.

The study examined IEQ satisfaction from the survey and from IEQ data secured from installed sensors. Noise, thermal conditions, IAQ, and natural light satisfaction were included.  The authors found that higher IEQ satisfaction was associated with increased FI scores and fewer reports of respiratory symptoms.

Read the full paper.