Air Quality and Ergonomics in the Office: Survey Results and Methodologic Issues

Stellman, Jeanne M.; Klitzman, Susan; Gordon, Gloria C.; Snow, Barry R.

A survey of office workers at four sites was conducted by Columbia University School of Public Health during 1981 and 1982 to explore relationships between office working conditions and employee health. Walk through surveys of each site were conducted by the research team with joint labor-management sponsorship. A total of 2074 non-managerial office workers filled out a 30-minute self-administered survey at their respective workplaces. Multiple item scales were tested and constructed to measure indoor air quality and ergonomic factors. Significant differences in ergonomic conditions and air quality between the sites were observed. These differences corresponded with researcher observations prior to the surveys. Significant associations between the reported air quality and respiratory symptoms and between ergonomic factors and musculoskeletal symptoms were found. Specificity of the relationship between reports about the environment and health symptoms was demonstrated. The implications of this approach for industrial hygiene investigations of non-industrial environments are discussed.


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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal

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Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
June 13, 2018