How Does Indoor Air Quality Affect Our Health?

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Poor air quality in an office is not uncommon. With many people sharing open plan office spaces, where there is no division for walkways, it is not surprising that dust and dirt can build up, quickly polluting the air in the office.

If the air quality in your office is poor, employees could develop something known as Sick Building Syndrome . Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a name for a condition that’s thought to be caused by being in a building or other type of enclosed space.

The symptoms include headaches, a blocked or runny nose, dry itchy skin, dry and sore eyes, skin rashes, tiredness and some employees often find that they have difficulty concentrating.

The symptoms of SBS occur and get worse the longer you are in a particular building, after leaving that building, you begin to feel better.

How to improve the air quality in your office

There are many ways in which you can improve the air quality in your office, helping your employees stay healthy, motivated and productive.

  • Let fresh air in: Whenever possible open windows to let natural air in to circulate and the stale air out of the office space.
  • Clean air filters regularly: Air conditioning, heating units and air vents need to be serviced and the filters in these units need to be replaced regularly. If not, dust and debris will build up and clog the filters and air flow becomes reduced.
  • Keep the office clean: Your office space should be cleaned weekly, carpets vacuumed, desks and other surfaces dusted and sanitised. Clutter and rubbish should be disposed of promptly.
  • Check humidity levels: Humidity levels of between 30 to 50% help to keep dust mites, mould and other allergens under control. Humidifiers and air conditioners will help the humidity levels in your office.
  • Add some plants: Plants absorb toxins and produce oxygen which also help with the air quality. They also add a peaceful aesthetic to any office.
  • Clean spills: Always clean up spills or leaks as soon as you see them. Excess moisture or dampness supports the growth of mildew and mould.
  • Have your air quality tested: Air quality experts will test the air flow and humidity levels, ventilation, odours, leaks, mould growth and more!

 

By adhering to the above the air in your office should stay reasonably fresh. If you would like your work environment to be assessed by an expert, please do get in touch with our Ergo Squad team.

Ergo Squad specialises in ergonomic consultancy. Our team of highly qualified workplace consultants identify areas of risk and discomfort and offer solutions to improve the health and safety of your employees.

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