Concept of sick building syndrome challenged by new research

If you've never heard the term sick building syndrome before you're probably wondering how a building can become to be sick.

Sick building syndrome is in fact a term to describe a situation whereby people experience symptoms of ill health that seem to be linked to spending time in a building - but where no specific cause can be identified.

A more critical view of sick building syndrome points out how buildings are in fact based on technology developed and employed by humans and are therefore a principle of order, i.e. built for the purpose of profitable work.

Back to the main point. Mentioned in Sick building link to job stress (BBC News: UK) is some research that suggests sick building syndrome "may have been misnamed as its symptoms are linked more closely to job stress than unhealthy environment."

In other words, the research has pinpointed more accurately where the problems of sick building syndrome come from and they are not related to the building as such.

For instance, general workforce job stress and job demands appear to have a bigger impact on the human symptoms of sick building syndrome, i.e. workers having less control over their working environment.

What I found most interesting is that something as simple as being in control of the temperature in your own office, and being able to open windows when it suits you, seems to lead to fewer reportings of this work-related problem.

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