BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Background Briefings 
Medical notes 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Wednesday, 26 July, 2000, 00:03 GMT 01:03 UK
Sterile offices 'causing stress'
Sterile working environments could be causing stress
Office workers are suffering from stress and exhaustion because they are working in "sterile" environments, according to research.

A survey of almost 1,000 people across the UK found air conditioning, a lack of indoor plants and views outside were damaging workers.

It found almost half of all workers felt stress by the end of the day.

Those aged between 25 and 34 suffered the most, with two out of three reporting stress from work.

More than half said they were "exhausted" after an average working day, rising to two-thirds among people aged between 35 and 44.

One in three 15- to 24-year-olds said they felt demotivated by the pressures of work.

The survey highlighted the "unhealthy conditions" of many UK offices.

Almost half of those questioned said they could not see out of a window at work and one in three said they had no natural stimulation, such as plants or flowers.

Big differences

The survey showed big differences between people living in cities and those outside.

It found that while two out of three people breathed "fresh air" during the day, this fell to just 7% of those living in London.

Four out of five people working in the capital said they spent most of their day in a building with artificial light. This compared to 35% of those living outside.

This could have both short and long-term implications for the nation's well being

Sarah Taylor, Timotei

More than 40% of people nationwide said they spent most of their working day in an air conditioned or centrally heated building. In London, this figure increases to 81%.

Nearly all Londoners said they saw more concrete and litter than grass and trees.

The survey also showed four out of five people felt refreshed and revitalised after spending time with nature.

The research was carried out on behalf of Timotei, a shampoo.

Sarah Taylor, from Timotei, said: "We were concerned that Britain was increasingly out of touch with nature and that this could have both short and long-term implications for the nation's well being."

The company has launched a Nature Bursts Campaign aimed at encouraging people to get back in touch with nature.

As part of the campaign, it has launched Timotei Power Pod which allows people to send nature-themed e-postcards over the internet.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

25 May 00 | Health
Job strain 'as bad as smoking'
15 May 00 | Health
Bogus sick days 'cost billions'
13 Oct 99 | Health
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories