It is something everyone does. One does not think about it, but just do it day in and day out. Breathing is something everyone takes for granted. Our body does all the work for us. We do not really even have to think about it. But have you ever really considered what is in the air you are breathing?
If you are outside in the smog, you know there is smoke in the air because you can smell it, but what about in the office? What is in the air in your office, and what is it doing to your body?
You may not smell anything, or even if there is a smell you may become accustomed to any odours because of the amount of time you spend in the office. But some of the devices on your workstation could be emitting things that you are breathing in.
Did you know the office photocopier and laser printer could be sending off ozone?
If too much is inhaled, ozone can cause upper respiratory and lung health conditions.
For many people the exposure is not enough on a daily basis to get sick, but for those with pre-existing health problems, like asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema it may be more noticeable. They may suffer symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, and headaches.
Another thing that will affect how much of an effect the ozone will have on you is the ventilation in your office. Your office should have regular maintenance on the ventilation system to make sure there is always fresh air coming in.
You should also make sure no one’s office chair is located directly beneath the air conditioning vents. The constant current can cause discomfort and chronic annoyance conditions such as dry eyes.
Poor ventilation can lead a stagnant air at your workstation. That means any ozone or other chemical fumes that may be in the office, say from the janitorial staff cleaning every day, can be lingering around your office desk, for you to breathe in day after day.
H and L Office Furniture offer tips on proper ventilation system settings in your office:
It should be comfortable. If the temperature is too high or too low workers will be uncomfortable at their workstations and will not be as productive as they would be in an optimum environment.
The preferred temperature range is between 20° and 23.5°C when it’s cold outside, and between 23° and 26° when the weather is warmer.
You should also keep the relative humidity in the room between 30% and 60%.
While it is invisible and often forgotten, the air that is circulating in your office can make a major impact on the health of those in the workplace. Those breathing bad air may not even know they are being affected. They may just wonder if they are holding onto an ailment or are fatigued.
What will definitely be affected is the company’s bottom line. As the body is fighting the bad air, it will not be able to focus 100 percent on the work at hand.