Natural light in office boosts health
People who work in offices with more natural light may have better health than those whose workplaces have less light, according to new research.
Scientists at Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois analyzed 49 day-shift office workers, 27 of whom had windowless workplaces and 22 of whom had workplaces with windows. Using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the researchers evaluated the participants' sleep quality and health-related quality of life. The researchers then asked 21 of the participants to wear a tracker that measured light exposure, activity and sleep.
The researchers found that the employees whose workplaces had windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than those with windowless workplaces; they also reported having better sleep quality, more physical activity and better health-related quality of life.
The study's findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, suggests that workplaces should make it a point to expose employees to natural light through sufficient windows, researchers said. They added that the synchronizing effects of natural light is important in maintaining internal biological rhythms, which may explain the study's results.