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Summer lunchtime walks can reduce productivity

Figure 1. Photographs of experiments and meteorological observations. (A) Performing cognitive tests in an indoor laboratory and (b) Outdoor exposure of groups B and C. Credit: DOI: 10.1016 / j.buildenv.2022.108893

Studies show that being in a hot environment reduces cognitive ability, but walking a little improves cognitive ability. But what if you go for a short walk on a hot summer day, as many students and office workers do during lunch or afternoon breaks? After all, you may want to avoid the heat.


In a study published this month Building and environmentResearchers at the University of Tsukuba discovered that they had a disability in just 15 minutes walking outside on a hot day Cognitive abilityAnd this was most impressive for men who didn’t get enough sleep.

People who work or study in urban areas heat Island like Big city In Japan, indoor air conditioning is generally convenient. Summer months, This mainly counters the negative effects of heat on learning and productivity. However, short-term exposure to high-temperature environments during commuting and rest is unavoidable, and it is unclear whether such exposure affects cognition. “In previous experiments, we used a special climate chamber to test these effects, but the outdoor thermal environment is very different from the indoor thermal environment in terms of radiation and wind.” , Said the lead author, Professor Hiroyuki Kusaka. “Radiation and wind have a significant impact on heat perception, so we need to experiment in a real-world outdoor environment to assess the effects of outdoor heat stress on cognitive ability.”

Researchers have simulated real-life scenarios in which workers and students walk away from an air-conditioned indoor environment or take a break in a hot outdoor urban environment during the summer in Japan. Ninety-six students completed a simple arithmetic test in an air-conditioned room before staying indoors, walking outdoors, or resting outdoors for 15 minutes. Then I went back indoors to complete a second arithmetic test and measure the change in performance. Walking in a hot outdoor environment reduces cognitive ability.But it’s not just exposed to the heat environment That impaired cognition. Rather, it was the combination of walking and being outside in the heat of summer that influenced cognitive ability. In addition, this effect was more pronounced in people who slept less than 5 hours, especially in sleep-deprived men.

“Japan office worker Students, especially men, need to be aware of this situation when working or studying, “says Kusaka. As the effects of climate change move to the forefront.


Office air quality can affect employee perception and productivity


For more information:
Yuki Asano and others, the effect of walking in a hot and stressful outdoor environment in an urban environment on indoor cognitive ability, Building and environment (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.buildenv.2022.108893

Quote: Summer lunchtime walks can reduce productivity (February 28, 2022) https://phys.org/news/2022-02-lunchtime-summer-productive.html to 2022 Get February 28

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Summer lunchtime walks can reduce productivity

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