Ventilation and Work Performance in office work

Publication Type

Journal Article




Outdoor air ventilation rates vary considerably between and within buildings, and may be too low in some spaces. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential work performance benefits of increased ventilation. We analysed the literature relating work performance with ventilation rate and employed statistical analyses with weighting factors to combine the results of different studies. The studies included in the review assessed performance of various tasks in laboratory experiments and measured performance at work in real buildings. Almost all studies found increases in performance with higher ventilation rates. The studies indicated typically a 1-3 % improvement in average performance per 10 L/s-person increase in outdoor air ventilation rate. The performance increase per unit increase in ventilation was bigger with ventilation rates below 20 L/s-person and almost negligible with ventilation rates over 45 L/s-person. The performance increase was statistically significant with increased ventilation rates up to 15 L/s-person with 95% CI and up to 17 L/s-person with 90% CI.


Indoor Air



Year of Publication




Research Areas