Monday, November 2, 2015

Well, This Explains A Lot

This isn't my old cubicle but it sure looks like it. Minus the windows.
One of the things that I disliked about my old office job was that I felt not just bored with my tasks, but that I literally thought less interesting thoughts* the more time I spent there. Maybe it wasn't a function of the job, but the environment! A study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found that even normal levels of carbon dioxide and other compounds found in indoor air have a negative affect on thinking ability and decision-making. The headline at the link implies that it's office environments specifically, but if you read the article, it's almost any indoor environment.

Most of my claywork is done indoors also, eight months out of the year, but I am rarely inside for more than three straight working hours. I walk to the store, I go check the mail, I stand on the deck and watch the birds at the feeder. (Ha, and I thought I just lacked discipline.) Some jobs - waxing, sometimes glazing, loading, firing, kiln maintenance - are outdoor work. Maybe my more interesting thoughts are a sign of a better-functioning brain!

Wherever you work, take a break and get outside! Your brain will reward you.

*More on this later


Tracey Broome said...

There are many indoor plants that will also help eliminate the CO2 in the air! and beautify that cubicle

Lori Watts said...

Fortunately the cubicle is now somebody else's problem.

Linda Starr said...

I love it in the Spring and Autumn when I can open all the windows and let fresh air into our home and keep my studio door open, and summer I'm out quite often, but frequent breaks in the winter is a good idea, thanks for the tip.

Unknown said...

Aren't you in Maine? Do you wax & glaze outdoors after November?
My studio is in my basement in NJ. It's well lit and has space for what I need to do, but not conducive to stepping outside! Best I can do is open a window for a little while. But I'll take it!

Lori Watts said...

Sometimes! We're having an unusually warm November, but even when we aren't, unless it's bitterly cold, I'll do as much as I can outside (or, technically, in the kiln shed) because glazing is so messy.