Air Quality, Your Brain, & Productivity

The air you breathe has a huge effect on your overall well-being and health.

You may have already known that, but new research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that this is even more true than previously suspected. In fact, the quality (or lack thereof) of air in your home or office can significantly reduce your productivity (bye bye, promotion) and even reduce your cognitive functioning. 

If you want to read Harvard’s  study for yourself (titled “Associations between acute exposures to PM2.5 and carbon dioxide indoors and cognitive function in office workers: a multicountry longitudinal prospective observational study”, you can check it out on the IOP Science website, where it was published in their Environmental Research Letters section.  

You can also get some highlights and important takeaways in this write-up NADCA did of the study on their blog. 

The one-year study, which included 300 participants ranging in age from 18-65 in office spaces from six countries and a variety of different sectors, found that increased concentrations of fine particulate matter (called PM2.5) and lower ventilation rates (measured using carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as a proxy) were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy on a series of cognitive tests. The researchers also noted that they observed impaired cognitive function at concentrations of PM2.5 and CO2 that are common within indoor environments.

With so many of us spending more and more time indoors and with the line between home and work blurring as so many of us become long-term remote workers, this issue is more important than ever both in corporate office buildings as well as in the home office (and your home as a whole). The results from the Harvard study show that as CO2 rates rise, ability to answer questions quickly falls. And as both CO2 and PM2.5 rates rose, the ability to answer questions correctly decreases,  too. 

This is concerning for anyone who spends more time indoors than outdoors. And let’s face it: at this point, that’s almost all of us. And it raises some important questions: 

Are you working up to your full potential?

Is your work even accurate? And if it’s not as accurate as it could be, are you missing out on opportunities?

If your kids are engaged in virtual schooling, are they getting the grades they are capable of earning?

How is this affecting your ability to make decisions at home and be your best self with your family?

There are several things you can do if indoor air quality and the impact it’s making on your brain and your life are of concern. You can absolutely change out furnace filters, set up air purifiers, and clean more regularly. But beyond that, you may need a little help to improve your air quality in your home or place of business and that’s where duct cleaning comes in. Duct cleaning can go the extra mile in removing debris, particulate matter, and improving ventilation. 

So call today and let us help you, your family, or your team feel their best!!


1 thought on “Air Quality, Your Brain, & Productivity”

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