Green offices keep workers in the pink

MICHIGAN STATE (US)—Workers who moved from conventional office buildings to environmentally friendly “green” buildings said they called in sick less often and were more productive, according to a new study.

Researchers at Michigan State University looked at two case studies and found that moving to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings contributed to noticeable reductions in self-reported absenteeism and stress.

Workers’ productivity also improved, as a result of perceived improvements in health and well-being.

The study appears in the online version of the American Journal of Public Health.

“These preliminary findings indicate that green buildings may positively affect public health,” the researchers write.

LEED is a designation by the U.S. Green Building Council for buildings with environmentally friendly design, construction practices and operation.

The research team includes Amanjeet Singh, a former MSU master’s student; Matt Syal, professor of planning, design and construction; Sue Grady, assistant professor of geography; and Sinem Korkmaz, assistant professor of planning, design and construction.

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