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The Effects of Office Lighting on our Circadian Rhythm, Mood and Overall Well-being

November 30, 2021

The quality of lightning isn’t just a key component when taking photos, but a very critical component in the workplace. According to the American Society of Interior Design, 68 percent of employees complain about the lighting in their offices. Proper office lighting can contribute to a positive attitude, an employee’s health, and productivity and on the downside, negative lighting can lead to multiple health problems.

Circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock that coordinates a wide range of processes in the body, including sleep. This rhythm is controlled by a small part of the brain, known as the circadian pacemaker, that is powerfully influenced by light exposure.

The way light alters circadian rhythm depends on the timing of light exposure. Did you know that excess or poorly timed artificial light exposure can cause a person’s circadian rhythm to be misaligned with the day-night schedule? This can throw their sleep cycle off and induce other negative health impacts including worsened metabolism, weight gain, cardiovascular problems, and more. It is important for natural lighting to be present in the workplace regardless of the uncontrollable weather so an individual’s circadian rhythm can become synchronized with sunrise and sunset allowing for a healthy balance of rest and motion throughout the day.

Harsh or dim lighting is a cause of eye strain and headaches, when a headache is triggered during the workday an individual may experience discomfort and lack of productivity. Many studies have proven that having access to natural lighting is valuable to our health. One study cites that 75.8 percent of employees find natural light important to them, yet only 56.9 percent are satisfied with their current workplace arrangement. If the statistics aren’t enough to support the claim that natural light is best, it is also shown to diminish the effects of seasonal affective disorder. In addition, choosing natural light is inherently a less expensive company alternative.

Not only does natural light in the office help our eyesight but it also boosts mood, energy level and overall happiness providing a healthier work environment for all. As a business owner it is important to explore your options for lighting to create a thriving workplace that encourages productivity. Keep in mind that no matter where you work, the type of lighting you’re exposed to can make or break your workday.


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This post was written by Elevate, Inc.

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