Office light can impact ‘sleep, activity and quality of life’

June 6th, 2013 Category: Office Cleaning

A new study has linked workplace daylight exposure to sleep, activity and quality of life.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, have found that boosting the amount of natural light in the workplace could improve workers’ physical well-being and sleep quality. The study is one of many research projects linking workplace activity with health; office cleanliness being another area which is commonly revealed to be an integral part of a healthy working life.

Study co-author Ivy Cheung said: “The extent to which daylight exposure impacts office workers is remarkable.

“Day-shift office workers’ quality of life and sleep may be improved via emphasis on light exposure and lighting levels in current offices as well as in the design of future offices.”

Compared to workers in offices with little light exposure, those with windows in the workplace received 173 per cent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night as a result. Workers that enjoy plenty of sunlight through the day were also found to exercise more, which could be an indication that light exposure impacts our energy levels.

The research was based on 49 office staff who worked day shifts – 27 in windowless workplaces and 22 in workplaces with windows. They found that workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction.

The study authors hope that the results will impact architectural considerations in the future, putting more emphasis on lighting over other areas, such as structural design.