Air quality

Headaches & Dizziness at work: How Indoor Air Quality affects you

Headaches or dizziness at work? Poor indoor air quality could be the cause. Learn how to recognize the signs and improve the air in your workplace.

Are you or your employees experiencing frequent headaches at work?

Headaches, dizziness, and a foggy mind can significantly impact your productivity and overall well-being and can manifest themselves in various ways. Some of the most common symptoms include: 

  • Persistent or recurring pain in the head, temples, or neck,
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, or odors
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness,
  • Difficulty concentrating or staying focused,
  • Stiff neck or shoulder pain.

While these symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, poor indoor air quality tends to be a common cause. When people spend a lot of time indoors, for example in an office, they are exposed to indoor air pollution, which is directly linked to headaches and dizziness.

Indoor air quality and headaches

There are many factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality and cause headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. However, some of the most common causes are:

  1. High temperature and humidity levels: A high level of humidity can create a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other allergens, which can trigger headaches and other symptoms. Similarly, high temperatures can cause discomfort and fatigue, leading to headaches and dizziness.

  2. Lack of ventilation: Poor ventilation can cause a buildup of indoor air pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can lead to headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms.

  3. Overcrowding: Overcrowding can lead to high levels of CO2 and other indoor air pollutants, as well as a lack of fresh air.

  4. Chemicals and pollutants: Exposure to chemicals, such as cleaning products, paints, and adhesives, can cause headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms. Similarly, exposure to outdoor pollutants, such as car exhaust, can be a source of indoor air pollution.

  5. Poor maintenance: Neglecting regular maintenance, such as cleaning and changing air filters, can lead to indoor air quality issues and related symptoms.

How to determine if poor indoor air quality is the cause of your headaches?

One way to determine if indoor air pollution is causing your headaches and dizziness is to pay attention to when your symptoms occur. If you feel particularly tired or sluggish at work, but feel better when you are away from the office, poor indoor air quality may be the cause. Another way to tell if poor indoor air quality is the cause of your fatigue is to look for other common symptoms. You can find a full list of common symptoms of poor indoor air quality in one of our latest articles: how do I recognize indoor air quality symptoms?

How to solve it?

Luckily, indoor air quality issues can be solved! If you suspect that poor indoor air quality is affecting your well-being at work, it is crucial to take steps to validate your suspicion and target the areas in your office or workplace that need to be improved.

This may include increasing ventilation, using air purifiers, or avoiding certain chemicals or products causing pollution. It will all depend on what exactly is causing the problem: CO2, humidity, temperature, TVOCs, etc. It is also essential to consult with your employer or building management to address any indoor air quality concerns.

We know it's not always easy to know where to start. Fortunately, acknowledging and identifying that there may be a problem with the air quality of your workspace is the first of five steps to solving the problem. Check out the next four steps here: How to solve your Indoor Air Quality issues in only 5 steps. 

Don't let poor indoor air quality hold you back from performing at your best. Take control of your office's air quality and enjoy the benefits of improved health and productivity.

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