Why Do Office Workers Get Tired?

Insufficient sleep and nutrient dlunch are not the main reasons, associated with the reduction in work performance during the day.

The U.S. researchers have found that high levels of carbon dioxide in offices and classrooms affect concentration and decision-making abilities.

The main source of carbon dioxide in rooms is people. In the open space, the concentration of this gas is about 380 parts per million, while in the room, it can reach several thousand parts. According to the experts from New York University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, high dioxide levels indoors are usually formed because of poor ventilation.

In the course of the study, the experts found that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the office environment is usually no more than one thousand parts per million (except for the conference room, where a lot of people are gathered for a long time, which is why it is difficult to stay vigorous at a meeting). In classrooms, the concentration of the gas also reaches one thousand parts per million, but it quite often exceeds three thousand parts. Although these levels are safe for human health, they can significantly reduce the ability to think and make decisions.

The researchers were surprised by the results because they were the first to discover the link between high levels of carbon dioxide and productivity loss. In the experiment, the scientists suggested that the volunteers should undergo tests of their work performance (with the concentration of carbon dioxide equal to one thousand parts, which is common for offices). As a result, six out of nine tests showed a significant reduction of concentration and the ability to make decisions. The results were even worse in the places with the level of gas reaching 2500 parts per million. Thus, now we surely know how to improve work performance.

The study is published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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