Workplace

Smelling and Learning (02-05-20)

New research confirms that scents we smell as we learn and sleep influence our cognitive performance. Neumann, Oberhauser, and Kornmeier conducted a field study with sixth graders anddetermined that when people smelled the same scent when learning material and later while sleeping (scent was present all night) that they remembered the learned material better after waking up.  The scent used by researchers was of roses.

Job Control and Back Pain (01-22-20)

Buruck lead a team that linked job control and chronic lower back pain (CLBP). Job control was described as including decision authority and skill discretion; it is reasonable to tie this definition to comfortable levels of control over the physical work environment, choices of where to work, and similar factors.  Buruck and colleagues learned via a literature review and meta-analysis that “CLBP was significantly positively related to workload . . . and significantly negatively related to overall job control . . . decision authority . . .  and two measures of social support. . .

Office Lighting, Alertness, and Sleep (12-13-19)

Researchers at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer and the US General Services Administration (GSA) conducted important research related to at-work alertness and nighttime sleep.  During their study “luminaires, mounted near the participants’ computer monitors provided: (1) morning saturated blue light delivering a circadian stimulus (CS) of 0.4, (2) midday polychromatic white light delivering a CS of 0.3, and (3) afternoon saturated red light delivering a CS close to zero. . . .

Benefits of Outside Air (12-05-19)

McArthur simulated the experience of being in “large offices in all climate zones . . . with various outdoor air rates,” and documented the significant performance/economic benefits that result from relatively high outdoor air ventilation rates.  The researcher shares that “A benefit-cost analysis considered energy costs and carbon emission offsets to achieve net-zero carbon operation for large office buildings across international climate zones with ventilation rates ranging from 125% to 1000% ASHRAE 62.1 minimums.

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