COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings, a multicountry longitudinal prospective observational study, led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the renowned COGfx Study (Cognitive Function) series examined the impact of indoor air quality on how people think and feel. This latest study supports the prior studies’ lab and U.S. findings and further supports that indoor air quality is not only good for people’s health and safety, it’s good for the bottom line – through increased productivity, fewer sick days and better cognitive function.
The COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings examined the impact of indoor air quality on the cognitive function of office workers across six countries – China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. In India, the study included 10 buildings located across Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. The research found that cognitive function declines as the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2) increase. Higher CO2 can be an indicator of poor ventilation in buildings.
Importantly, mechanical ventilation, such as an HVAC system with efficient filtration, can help to protect building occupants from the negative cognitive effects of PM2.5 and CO2. In addition to acute impacts on cognitive function, reducing exposure to PM2.5 is associated with many other health benefits including reductions in cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks, and premature death.
“As many people move toward returning to offices, schools and commercial buildings, the health, safety and intelligence of indoor environments have come into greater focus,” said Chirag Baijal, Managing Director, Carrier India. “The COGfx Study continues to demonstrate that proper ventilation and filtration of indoor environments plays an important role in healthier buildings. At Carrier, we are focused on delivering innovative solutions and services that positively impact the health, productivity and cognitive performance of occupants of India’s buildings.”
This latest research builds on previous COGfx studies demonstrating that better thinking and better health can be found inside healthier buildings. The first study found cognitive function test scores doubled when study participants were in simulated green building environments with enhanced ventilation as opposed to conventional building environments. The COGfx Study 2 examined real-world building environments in the U.S. and showed that employees in green-certified buildings showed 26 percent higher cognitive function test scores and 30 percent fewer sick building symptoms versus buildings that were not green-certified.