Press Coverage: Continuing presence of sick building syndrome indicated by study

Remark Group’s latest survey is here and PFM have covered the story.

Findings from a survey conducted by Remark Group, published yesterday, indicate that sick building syndrome (SBS) is continuing to affect the health of office workers.

Results from the Air Quality and Wellbeing at Work 2019 survey, which included responses from a study group of more than 1,000 UK office workers, revealed that 86% of respondents suffer from headaches at work, experienced on a daily basis by 23%.

Further concern came from the response that 91% report suffering from tiredness or lethargy at work, which is experienced by 41% every day they are in the office.

Dry, itchy or watery eyes are experienced by 78%, with 76% reporting suffering from a dry throat and 70% stating itchy or irritated skin issues had affected them at work.

Sleep quality was described as ‘poor’ by 25% of respondents, with just 11% stating that their sleep quality was good during the working week.

When questioned about indoor air quality (IAQ), 80% said poor levels of IAQ could be negatively impacting on their health, with the same number saying this could have the same effect on their productivity.

Poor IAQ was also regarded as affecting mental and/or physical health.

Commenting on the findings, environmental psychologist and workplace wellbeing consultant Dr Nigel Oseland said he was “shocked by the results”.

“Although SBS is not as prevalent as in the 1990s, the survey showed the importance of “creating healthy buildings which encourage wellness and productivity”.

“They can do so by, by monitoring air quality in the office and embracing new technologies to ensure that the work environment promotes workplace wellbeing,” said Dr Oseland.

“The various disciplines within the workplace industry need a concerted effort for a marked step change from sick buildings to healthy buildings.

“Everyone has the right to work in a healthy workplace,” said Dr Oseland.