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Non-specific symptoms in office workers: a review and summary of the epidemiologic literature.
Indoor Air 1993 Dec; 3(4):227-236
Epidemiologic studies on nonspecific symptoms reported in office workers were considered, including methodology. The report reviewed the findings of 32 studies of 37 factors potentially related to office worker symptoms. Consistent findings associated increased symptoms with air conditioning, carpets, more workers in a space, use of video display terminals, and ventilation rates at or below 10 liters per second per person. Studies which had particularly strong designs noted decreased symptoms associated with a high ventilation rate, short term humidification, negative ionization, and improved office cleaning. However, the findings for humidification and ionization were inconsistent. Studies which were relatively strong in design associated high temperature and low relative humidity with increased symptoms, while less strong studies were not consistent in this regard. Generally consistent findings associated increased symptoms with female gender, job stress/dissatisfaction, and allergies/asthma. Findings were too inconsistent or sparse for current interpretation for other environmental or personal factors. The author concludes that work related symptoms among workers in the office were relatively common and that many of these symptoms could be prevented through changes in office conditions.
Indoor-air-pollution; Ventilation-systems; Air-quality-monitoring; Temperature-effects; Office-workers; Office-equipment; Work-environment; Ventilation-systems; Indoor-environmental-quality
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Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division