Environment and Health in the Workplace - Association between Thermal Comfort and the Sick Building Syndrome among Office Workers

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Dokumentart: Diplomarbeit, Magisterarbeit, Master Thesis
Institut: Department Gesundheitswissenschaften
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2017
Publikationsdatum:
SWD-Schlagwörter: Environment , Umwelt , Gesundheit , Gesunde Lebensführung , Arbeitsplatz , Assoziation , Bequemlichkeit , Sick-building-Syndrom , Umweltkrankheit , Bü
DDC-Sachgruppe: Medizin, Gesundheit

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

Introduction Approximately 4. Million office staff were employed in Germany in 2011. Although office environments are seen as comfortable and hazard-free, health complaints among office workers were reported, labelled as the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). As the WHO emphasises the importance of identification and control of environmental factors like thermal comfort parameters (relative air humidity, air temperature and air velocity) to create health promoting working environments (2016), a study was performed in five office buildings in Hamburg. The aim was to determine the prevalence of the SBS among office workers and to assess associations between thermal comfort and SBS. Methods The cross-sectional study was conducted in February 2017 among office workers (n=36) from five companies/institutions, working in single- and/or multi-person offices in the service and/or information sector. Instruments applied in this study were a survey (self-administered online questionnaire) and environmental measurements with a multi-functional device. Chi square tests such as the Fisher’s exact test and Pearson’s chi square test were engaged to assess associations between SBS and thermal comfort as well as between SBS and other risk factors. Results 19.4 % of the office workers had the SBS. About 42.0 % of the office were disturbed weekly by at least one of the thermal comfort parameters. No association was found between SBS and thermal comfort. Additionally, SBS was not significantly associated to risk factors such as individual factors, psycho-social factors and workplace conditions. Conclusion These findings should be regarded with caution, because of several limitations. Moreover, the findings are related just to the winter season and cannot be interpreted for all the seasons. Hence, further research is needed on the associations between SBS and thermal comfort and on other potential risk factors. Keywords Sick Building Syndrome, thermal comfort, office workers, office building

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