Do Indoor Environments in Schools Influence Student Performance? A Review of the Literature
The goal of this paper was to critically review available evidence on relationships between indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in schools and student performance. Because available evidence from schools was limited, the review expanded to include studies on direct relationships between the performance of children and adults and the indoor environments in schools, workplaces, residences, and controlled laboratory settings. The most persuasive available evidence suggests that some aspects of IEQ, including low ventilation rate and less daylight or light, may reduce the performance of occupants, including students in schools. Other evidence identifies additional possible influences, such as pollen and some carpets. Substantial limitations in the quantity and quality of available research findings suggest many questions for future study. Sufficient evidence is available to justify (1) actions to safeguard IEQ in schools and (2) the conduct of focused, well-designed research to help guide future policies and actions regarding IEQ in schools.