UNH study links productivity, air

Final results aren’t expected until November, but preliminary research conducted at the University of New Hampshire shows a link between poor air quality and declining worker productivity.

Economists at the Whittemore School of Business have been surveying 500 workers once a week all summer about their health, how their workday has gone, how much time they’ve spent outside and what kinds of physical activities they’ve performed that day.

The surveys will be analyzed along with hospital records for emergency room visits to see if there’s a correlation between bad air days and a higher number of patients with respiratory problems.

Although the early results show a correlation between workers who felt sluggish and unhealthy air quality, they do not take into account factors like age and health or how much time workers spent outside. The final report will include that type of analysis.

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