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Lighting and circadian rhythms

Illumination in the workplace has a significant impact on productivity and performance. Insufficient or poorly distributed light may result in eye strain or visual discomfort which is likely to have an impact on cognitive and physical function, energy levels, mood, and concentration by interfering with physiological factors like circadian rhythms.

To make sure you have the right system of illumination when working, you first need to identify the sources of light in your room and divide them in general and localised lighting.
General lighting provides uniform illumination over the whole working area. Localised lighting provides different levels of illumination in different parts of the same working area.

There are two different types and sources of light: natural and artificial. Studies of lighting in the workplace have consistently shown that natural light has positive effects on workers subjective well-being. Research suggests that 30 minutes of sunlight can stimulate the brain activity, the self-contentment and positive attitude which led to better working memory performance. This is a good reason to place your office near the window, so the natural light will come from your left side.

As much as we love the sunlight, modern working society requires proper solutions and strategies. Working at night, with different time zones can be a real challenge sometimes.

If you need artificial lighting, make sure you know how and where to place it. To ensure lighting is suitable and sufficient, several aspects of artificial lighting at the workplace need to be considered:

  • Reduce exposure to fluorescent light which can cause excessive fatigue and loss of concentration. You can use the blue-enriched white light which can improve the mood, reduce fatigue, irritability and eye discomfort, boost performance and concentration.
  • Try to place the light sources correctly so that the light is equally distributed over your workplace
  • Make sure that the reflected light is not affecting your computer work

Blue light and sleeping

In today’s world, being correctly informed about the use of light can help you protect your health, improve your sleep and help you function at your best during the day.
Blue light is pointed to as the type of light that interfere in the most aggressive ways with the human body.

Researchers have found that blue light exposure can disturb the sleep by increasing the frequency of nighttime awakenings, reduce the production of melatonin in the body and alter the circadian rhythm with significant effects on cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune systems, disturbing mood and compromising cognitive function.

How to manage blue light exposure:

  • Try not to use electronic devices before 1 hour before night sleep
  • When working, take a break away from your electronic devices every hour
  • Spend at least 30 minutes in sunlight during the day; in this way, you strengthen your immunity and your circadian rhythm

 

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