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Mental Health in the Working World

The thermal indoor climate comprises the following factors: temperature, humidity and air velocity, as well as thermal radiation of the enclosing surfaces. If the thermal indoor climate is insufficiently adapted to the needs of employees, the consequences can be discomfort, reduced performance and damage to health.

In many cases, the thermal indoor climate can be adapted directly to human needs, as, for example, by heating or cooling offices. In other cases, however, the thermal indoor climate is characterised by technological constraints. Here, it is important to reduce negative effects on people by, given the example of a steelwork, cooling the hall and by providing employees with heat-protective clothing. In a third area, technology determines the thermal indoor climate completely. This is always the case where a cold or warm climate is absolutely necessary, for example in a cold store or in medicinal baths. In these cases, protection of employees is only possible by means of personal measures such as protective clothing and/or rules on breaks.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) summarises the state of scientific knowledge on the thermal indoor climate in the context of work. It considers the effects of climate on the mental health and well-being of employees. It also describes the relations of thermal indoor climate to motivation, job satisfaction and performance. Work in extreme and straining climates, for example work in the heat and cold, is also examined. In addition, the review reveals research gaps and discusses options for actively influencing this factor.

The project "Mental Health in the Working World"

The scoping review on the thermal indoor climate in the context of work is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.

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