The effects of light and visual environment in office support spaces on fatigue, sleepiness, and workplace productivity through the autonomic nervous system

Satoshi Ogawa, Toshiharu Ikaga, Maki Ichihara, Kazuyoshi Harimoto

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Improvements in workplace productivity bring significant benefits to companies, and so previous research has focused on how the indoor office environment affects workplace productivity. Recently, the effect of support spaces, such as “refresh corners”, on workplace productivity has been investigated. Light and the visual environment also affect the fatigue and sleepiness of workers through the autonomic nervous system. Hence, support spaces could improve workplace productivity by alleviating fatigue and sleepiness. In this study, we conducted a human subject experiment in the autumn of 2013. The working efficiency of participants was measured during simulated work while they used a support space with different light and visual environments. In addition, the participants wore a heart rate monitor to measure their autonomic nervous state and they answered a questionnaire on fatigue and sleepiness before and after support space use. An open support space activated the parasympathetic nervous system and reduced fatigue. Moreover, having blinds open to allow daylight in also activated the sympathetic nervous system and decreased sleepiness. Lower levels of sleepiness before work improved working efficiency for idea generation. These results suggest that using open support spaces with daylight reduces fatigue and sleepiness, and increases workplace productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
EventHealthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 2015 May 182015 May 20

Other

OtherHealthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015
CountryNetherlands
CityEindhoven
Period15/5/1815/5/20

Keywords

  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Light and Visual Environment
  • Workplace Productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of light and visual environment in office support spaces on fatigue, sleepiness, and workplace productivity through the autonomic nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Ogawa, S., Ikaga, T., Ichihara, M., & Harimoto, K. (2015). The effects of light and visual environment in office support spaces on fatigue, sleepiness, and workplace productivity through the autonomic nervous system. Paper presented at Healthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015, Eindhoven, Netherlands.