Monitor on Psychology: Healthy buildings, productive people

Can indoor building features such as ventilation, pollutants and lighting influence our thinking, behavior and health? New research suggests a big “yes.”

By Tori DeAngelis
Monitor on Psychology
May 2017, Vol 48, No. 5

Have you felt tired at your desk lately? Culprits larger than a lack of coffee or a poor night’s sleep may be to blame. According to new research, environmental factors within your building—the degree or type of ventilation, airborne contaminants, lighting and noise levels, for example—can play a surprisingly large role in how good or bad you feel, and even how well you think

This investigation is part of a budding multidisciplinary field of “healthy building” research that is addressing a widespread phenomenon: While the Environmental Protection Agency estimates we spend more than 90 percent of our time inside, builders in general have paid scant attention to the health aspects of indoor spaces, instead focusing on design features and on meeting minimum environmental standards to keep costs down.

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Monitor on Psychology: Healthy buildings, productive people