How Can Commercial Skylights Help Avoid Work-Related Illness?
By Jeff Brain | October 03, 2017
Research shows that the proper illumination of interior workspaces reduces the number of annual work-related illnesses. Useful for more than the sheer possibility of vision, light influences human health and wellbeing, too. When exposed to the daily shifts of sunlight’s spectrum and intensity, the body is able to regulate its own natural processes and strengthen its immune system.
We know that natural light entrains the body’s circadian rhythm, which in turn regulates body temperature, sleep and wakefulness cycles, and hormone changes. Artificial electrical lighting, which has been designed almost exclusively for vision, can cause disruptions of the circadian rhythm, which leads to sleep disorders, depression, obesity, diabetes, and seasonal affective disorder.
Workers are at risk of illness when deprived of the optimal amount of exposure to natural light. When caught between the body’s need for healthy sunlight and the need for a paycheck, by force of necessity, in today’s world, people choose the latter.
Where the lack of natural light is particularly debilitating is in high-stress work environments. There natural light is needed most, because it can lower stress levels and calm nervous anxiety which otherwise weakens the immune system and may even lead to panic attacks.
But the benefits of windows only go so far. Windows are the most common source for interior natural light, however the natural light from windows diminishes and disappears when it crosses a distance of 25 ft. In large office spaces where work stations are far from the windows, many employees do not gain any of the benefits of natural light.
Commercial skylights are one of the most effective solutions for bringing natural light into the innermost areas of a workspace. Architects and business owners should be aware of how natural light influences not only task visibility and productivity, but also health and well-being. Consciously designed healthy spaces will reduce the risk of work-related illnesses, resulting in up to 6.5% fewer sick days and an increased rate of productivity.
The frequency of illnesses declines when workers are exposed to abundant natural light. Studies show that number of factors contribute to this trend; employees with more natural light exposure sleep longer and better, are more physically active, and have an overall better quality of life.
And since people are the most important most important part of any business organization, why not keep them healthy with the all natural light that commercial skylights provide?