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‘Indoor Generation’: Effects of the Indoor Environment on Work Performance and Well-Being

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 March 2023) | Viewed by 16294

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Guest Editor
Department of Living and Built Environment Research, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT), 283 Goyang-daero, Daehwa-dong, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
Interests: person-environment interaction; psychology; acoustic environment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent studies have revealed that we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, which indicates the importance of maintaining indoor environments. Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak caused us to spend even more time in indoor spaces. As an ‘indoor generation’, understanding how indoor environments can impact us is crucial.
Indoor environments involve various environmental factors, such as the acoustic environment, air quality, and thermal conditions. These factors reportedly have impacts on work performance and job satisfaction. Poor speech intelligibility and noise in open-plan offices are widely considered to be significant factors that affect poor work performance and job satisfaction. Moreover, poor air quality in office space leads to reduced performance and productivity. Inadequate thermal conditions are also a key factor that negatively affects the work performance of employees. In addition, indoor environments have significant effects on human health and well-being. The WHO states that air pollution is a risk factor leading to all-cause mortalities as well as specific diseases. Noise is the second major environmental cause of health problems, followed by air quality.
This Special Issue invites papers that address the topics relevant to this area of research. Original research manuscripts, technical papers, or extensive reviews are all welcomed.
The key topics include, but are not limited to:

•    Indoor environment;
•    Indoor noise and acoustic environment;
•    Indoor thermal condition;
•    Indoor air quality;
•    Human perception and subjective response;
•    Work performance, productivity, and achievement;
•    Job satisfaction;
•    Well-being and health.

Dr. Sang-Hee Park
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • indoor environment
  • indoor noise and acoustic environment
  • indoor thermal conditions
  • indoor air quality
  • human perception and subjective response
  • work performance, productivity, and achievement
  • job satisfaction
  • well-being and health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 3273 KiB  
Article
Field Measurements and Analysis of Indoor Environment, Occupant Satisfaction, and Sick Building Syndrome in University Buildings in Hot Summer and Cold Winter Regions in China
by Jiantao Weng, Yuhan Zhang, Zefeng Chen, Xiaoyu Ying, Wei Zhu and Yukai Sun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010554 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2042
Abstract
Teachers and students work and study in classrooms for long durations. The indoor environment directly affects the health and satisfaction of teachers and students. To explore the performance differences between green buildings, conventional buildings, and retrofitted buildings in terms of their indoor environment, [...] Read more.
Teachers and students work and study in classrooms for long durations. The indoor environment directly affects the health and satisfaction of teachers and students. To explore the performance differences between green buildings, conventional buildings, and retrofitted buildings in terms of their indoor environment, occupant satisfaction, and sick building syndrome (SBS), as well as the correlation between these different aspects, three university teaching buildings were selected in hot summer and cold winter regions in China. These included a green building (GB), a retrofitted building (RB), and a conventional building (CB). Long-term indoor environment monitoring and point-to-point measurements were conducted during the transition season and winter and the indoor environment, satisfaction, and SBS in the three buildings were compared. A sample of 399 point-to-point questionnaires was collected. A subjective-objective indoor environmental quality (IEQ) evaluation model for schools in China was established, covering satisfaction and the indoor environment. The results showed that the compliance rate of the indoor environment in the GB and RB was generally superior to that of the CB. The overall satisfaction was the highest for the GB, followed by the CB, and then the RB. The GB had the highest overall indoor environment quality score, followed by the RB and then the CB. The occurrence of SBS was lowest in the CB, followed by the GB, and then the RB. It was determined that the design of natural ventilation should be improved and that building users should be given the right to autonomous window control and temperature control. To reduce the occurrence of SBS symptoms, attention should be paid to the control of temperature and CO2 concentration. To improve learning efficiency, it suggests reducing indoor CO2 concentrations and improving desktop illuminance. This study provides a reference for improving the indoor environment and health performance of existing university teaching buildings. Full article
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17 pages, 1680 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Field Study of Indoor Environment Quality and Work Productivity between Job Types in a Research Institute in Korea
by Gyu-Bae Lee, Seung-Min Lee, Seung-Eon Lee, Jae-Weon Jeong and Jong-Won Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114332 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
Indoor environment quality (IEQ) evaluation can help improve building satisfaction and productivity of residents. However, for more efficient analysis, it is necessary to gain a large amount of data on the differences between specific groups, such as building and resident work types. In [...] Read more.
Indoor environment quality (IEQ) evaluation can help improve building satisfaction and productivity of residents. However, for more efficient analysis, it is necessary to gain a large amount of data on the differences between specific groups, such as building and resident work types. In this study, we conducted an IEQ evaluation for administrators and researchers, which are occupational groups of a research institute. The evaluation was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods to find the relationships between IEQ satisfaction and work productivity for each job type. Our results showed that light environment and office layout were correlated with the work productivity of administrators, and light environment, office layout, thermal comfort, and sound environment were correlated with the work productivity of researchers. In addition, there was a significant difference in layout and thermal comfort items between administrators and researchers. Therefore, this study revealed significant differences in the effect of IEQ evaluation on work productivity between different occupations in a research institute. Full article
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11 pages, 2276 KiB  
Article
Urban Air Mobility Noise: Further Considerations on Indoor Space
by JungHoon Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811298 - 8 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
Various countries are preparing for the introduction of urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, which move freely within the space above a city, as a new means of urban transportation. However, UAM vehicles present new forms of challenges to many urban residents. This study [...] Read more.
Various countries are preparing for the introduction of urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, which move freely within the space above a city, as a new means of urban transportation. However, UAM vehicles present new forms of challenges to many urban residents. This study aims to propose newly sensory standards for the noise levels of UAM vehicles in urban indoor spaces based on two fundamental questions: (1) Would UAM vehicles not have a lower and wider impact on city residents than a commercial aircraft? (2) Should the flight of UAM vehicles not consider the sensory noise, like the conventional noise standard? UAM vehicles, unlike commercial aircrafts, will cause noise pollution in a broad area of the city. Therefore, expanded aircraft noise standards will be required. In addition, the hybridized noise generated by conventional vehicles in the ground and UAM vehicles in the air will affect urban residents. Furthermore, urban residents will be exposed to sensory noise from UAM vehicles, which fly directly above them but not within their line of sight. Therefore, the noise standards for UAM vehicles should include the sensory properties in addition to the physical properties in the existing noise standards. Full article
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19 pages, 7783 KiB  
Article
University Library Space Renovation Based on the User Learning Experience in Two Wuhan Universities
by Lei Peng, Wenli Wei, Yichen Gong and Ruiying Jia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610395 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
University library spaces play an important role in the learning experience of students. However, the traditional designs for these learning spaces no longer meet the needs of users, and researchers have been turning their attention to university library space renovation. By combing existing [...] Read more.
University library spaces play an important role in the learning experience of students. However, the traditional designs for these learning spaces no longer meet the needs of users, and researchers have been turning their attention to university library space renovation. By combing existing theories and practices, this study determined a framework of six university library space renovation design principles and subsequently conducted a survey to examine university library space user learning experience in two university libraries in Wuhan, China. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS. From the questionnaire-based survey results, this study determined seven design elements that affect the learning experience of university library users. The results of binary logistic regression showed that two elements, indoor physical space comfort and indoor acoustic environment comfort, have positive effects on the frequency and length of visits to the library. Key spatial elements that can promote library space users’ learning experience were also identified, thus providing data that can reliably inform future design strategies for the space renovation of university libraries. Full article
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14 pages, 2414 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Correlated Colour Temperature on Physiological, Emotional and Subjective Satisfaction in the Hygiene Area of a Space Station
by Ao Jiang, Xiang Yao, Stephen Westland, Caroline Hemingray, Bernard Foing and Jing Lin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9090; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159090 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
The hygiene area is one of the most important facilities in a space station. If its environmental lighting is appropriately designed, it can significantly reduce the psychological pressure on astronauts. This study investigates the effect of correlated colour temperature (CCT) on heart rate, [...] Read more.
The hygiene area is one of the most important facilities in a space station. If its environmental lighting is appropriately designed, it can significantly reduce the psychological pressure on astronauts. This study investigates the effect of correlated colour temperature (CCT) on heart rate, galvanic skin response, emotion and satisfaction in the hygiene area of a space station. Forty subjects participated in experiments in a hygiene area simulator with a controlled lighting environment. The lighting conditions included 2700 K, 3300 K, 3600 K, 5000 K and 6300 K; physiological responses (heart rate, galvanic skin response), as well as emotion and satisfaction, were recorded. The results showed that CCT significantly influenced the participants’ physiological and subjective responses in the space station hygiene area. 6300 K led to the best emotion and satisfaction levels, the highest galvanic skin response and the lowest heart rate. The opposite was true for 2700 K. Full article
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18 pages, 2564 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Effects of Different Indoor Lighting Environments on Computer Work Fatigue
by Yuan Fang, Chang Liu, Chengcheng Zhao, Hongyu Zhang, Weizhen Wang and Nianyu Zou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6866; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116866 - 3 Jun 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3565
Abstract
The indoor lighting environment is a key factor affecting human health and safety. In particular, people have been forced to study or work more for long periods of time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we investigate the influence [...] Read more.
The indoor lighting environment is a key factor affecting human health and safety. In particular, people have been forced to study or work more for long periods of time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we investigate the influence of physical indoor environmental factors, correlated color temperature (CCT), and illumination on computer work fatigue. We conducted a within-subject experiment consisting of a 10 min-long task test under two different illumination settings (300 lx and 500 lx) and two CCTs (3000 K and 4000 K). Physiological signals, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiograph (ECG), and eye movement, were monitored during the test to objectively measure fatigue. The subjective fatigue of eight participants was evaluated based on a questionnaire conducted after completing the test. The error rate of the task test was taken as the key factor representing the working performance. Through the analysis of the subjective and objective results, computer work fatigue was found to be significantly impacted by changes in the lighting environment, where human fatigue was negatively correlated with illumination and CCT. Improving the illumination and CCT of the work environment, within the scope of this study, helped to decrease the fatigue degree—that is, the fatigue degree was the lowest under the 4000 K + 500 lx environment, while it was relatively high at 3000 K + 300 lx. Under indoor environment conditions, the CCT factor was found to have the greatest effect on computer work fatigue, followed by illumination. The presented results are expected to be a valuable reference for improving the satisfaction associated with the lighting environment and to serve as guidance for researchers and reviewers conducting similar research. Full article
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