How a Sunlit Office Improves Employee Health

January 13, 2016

sunlitoffice

Corner offices provide much more than a spectacular view. They can actually be good for your health. Two different studies examined the effects of natural sunlight on two different sets of employees, finding consistent exposure to natural light can do wonders for productivity, sleep, mood and a person’s physical and mental health. 

Workers and Windows

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found employees who had a window in their offices enjoyed a significantly better sense of health. The study looked at the lives of 49 employees. Twenty-seven of them worked in windowless offices while 22 worked near windows. The study did not disclose its purpose to ensure participants would not overly aware of office windows, or lack thereof.

Compared to their windowless counterparts, workers near windows were:

  1. Inspired to exercise more
  2. Got an average of 46 more minutes of sleep per night
  3. Had fewer sleep disturbances

The lack of adequate sleep is a big one, as it can lead to memory loss, shorter attention spans, slower psychomotor reflexes and even depression. It can also be an underlying cause of increased workplace errors and accidents.

Nurses and Sunshine

Another study, this one published in the journal Health Environments Research and Design, found similar results when it examined the performance of nurses who worked extended shifts during atypical hours.

Compared to nurses who worked mainly in an artificially lit environment, nurse who were exposed to natural light:

  1. Laughed more at work
  2. Communicated better with colleagues
  3. Were nicer to patients
  4. Had dramatically lower blood pressure
  5. Improved their alertness

Exposure to light and dark patterns influences our natural circadian rhythm, which is our internal, biological clock that tells us when it’s time to waken or sleep. Regular exposure to daylight can additionally help boost employee performance as well as psychological health and mental well-being. Looking for a new office full of windows? Contact us today!

 

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