We breathe impure air most of the time which not only affects our health severely but hinders our job performance too! Even if you work indoors sitting inside a plush cabin, the air quality outside can impede your work performance, according to a new research paper.
Since many years, researchers have been trying to find a solid link between air pollution and poor job performance. They found that productivity of agriculture workers declined as atmospheric ozone levels increased and blue-collar indoor workers were greatly affected by the air pollution levels outside.
Packing produce inside a warehouse also contributes towards working indoors which is far more strenuous than desk work done indoors. This makes us conclude that white collar workers are less vulnerable to air pollution hazards simply because they are not breathing in as much air.
The Stock Trade Connection
Researchers chose individuals dealing with stock trading as primary citizens for the study as trading requires cognitive skills without physical exertion. Outdoor air quality fluctuates every day and the researches wanted to find out if this fluctuation influenced the individual making a trading decision on some particular day.
To exactly pinpoint the effect of air pollution on a trader’s decision-making ability, other factors such as day of the week (markets don’t function every day), day of the year (markets are busier during certain times of the year), preceding market returns, changes to daylight saving time, weather and traffic must be taken into account.
Once dealt with all other factors, researchers focused on particulate matter in the air (a measure known as PM10)-particles coming out from vehicle exhaust, construction dust, industrial sources, wood burning and other sources that are about 1/7th the thickness of human hair and can be easily inhaled deep into the lungs. Findings conveyed that an average increase in outdoor PM10 (12 micrograms of the pollutant per cubic meter) reduced the investors’ inclination to trade by nearly 10%. Although the change in PM10 is not drastic, it gives answers to our questions-whether air quality affects an investor’s willingness to sit down and trade! The disadvantages of pollution on white-collar work productivity are much more severe than previously assumed.
This finding comes right with a bang when we speak about pollution in our national capital being at its peak and affecting the health of the citizens. Read more on air pollution and its ill effects on health at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.