Corporate offices that are well-lit can result into having members of the workforce who have better physical activity, improved mental capacity, and better sleep quality. These are the findings of a study completed at the Northwestern Medicine and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and published at the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Hence, since natural light can improve health and happiness of employees, it is also correlated to their productivity. In a related study, it has also been concluded that natural light is a major factor that can help in the reduction of waist size and better body mass index.
Phyllis Zee spearheaded the study with the goal of being able to confirm the positive relationship between natural daylight in the office and the health of the workers. The participants include 49 employees working in offices during daytime. 22 of them have windows in the office. Through a procedure that is known as actigraphy, which measures light exposure, physical activity, and sleep, the participants were monitored.
At the end of the research, the conclusion was that workers in offices without a window showed low results on quality of life metrics. On the other hand, those working in offices with windows and utilizing the natural light that is available were able to show better health. Some of the aspects that have been favorably affected by natural light include alertness, mood, and metabolism.
This study has significant implications in the field of architecture. According to Mohamed Boubekri, co-author of the research, architects must be able to realize how natural daylight should be given emphasis in their design.
This will not only result into better health of the workforce, but also has the potential to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. For this reason, more and more people are giving a priority on the utilization of natural light in workstations. More so, it has not only affected office design, but is also being a basis in the design of modern homes that are more responsive of environmental sustainability.
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