Health and Indoor Climate Complaints of 7043 office Workers in 61 Buildings in the Netherlands

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Abstract

During the winter of 1988/1989, the relationships between the prevalence of work-related health and indoor climate complaints and a number of building, management, workplace and personal characteristics have been investigated in a study in more than 60 office buildings located throughout the Netherlands.

To collect the information, a questionnaire was prepared on health and indoor climate complaints and personal and workplace characteristics. A checklist was used to obtain information on building characteristics More than 7000 questionnaires were completed by the regular users of the buildings investigated.

The results showed that the prevalence of symptoms was higher in air-conditioned buildings than in naturally or mechanically ventilated buildings. some other variables were also related with most work-related complaints after adjustment for selected management, personal, workplace and job characteristics. These included gender, work satisfaction in general, presence of allergies and/or respiratory symptoms, and personal control over temperature at the workplace. No differences were found in symptom prevalences between buildings with spray and steam humidification. The combination of air-conditioning and humidification did not lead to further increases in the prevalence of complaints as compared to buildings with only airconditioning or only humidification.

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