Could the Lighting In Your Office Be the Reason You’re So Tired?
If you’ve ever wondered why you tend to feel energised and sleepy around the same times every day, you have something called your circadian rhythm to thank. Your circadian rhythm is essentially an internal body clock that runs in the back of your brain, affecting physical, mental and behavioural changes throughout a twenty-four hour cycle. In fact, the term circadian is derived from Latin words that literally mean ‘around the day’.
In 2002, researchers discovered that, in addition to rods and cones, the eye has a third photoreceptor that informs the brain about light intensity and triggers subconscious responses. Your circadian rhythm can influence sleep-wake cycles, eating habits, digestion and body temperature, and environmental factors such as light and darkness can have an impact. For example, when the sun sets in the evening and it gets darker, your eyes send a signal to your brain that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain in turn sends a signal to your body to produce melatonin, which makes your body feel tired.
But what happens when we are working in offices for a minimum of nine hours a day, sitting under fluorescent or LED lights that mimic the effect of early morning sunshine? A study of 109 office workers showed that those who were exposed to constant bright, cool-toned light had much more trouble falling asleep at night and slept worse than participants exposed to lighting patterns that were synchronised to the patterns of the sun itself. Circadian-effective lighting resulted in increased alertness in the morning, better concentration, improved memory, better mood, reduction in errors and faster cognitive processing, proving that investment in dynamic lighting yields a tangible return.
Now the question that we were faced with was: How can we take this research and use it to inform our product design? When considering the design and functionality of Thinking Works’ newest product, Screenliner, our design team incorporated human centric lighting technology to maximise productivity in the office. Running on a central control panel, workstations with the Screenliner acoustic screen system will emit a measured amount of blue and yellow light. Following a program that has been engineered to maintain focus over the course of the work day, cool light keeps employees engaged throughout the day before smoothly transitioning to a warm light as the work day ends.
With additional features including integrated storage for phones, glasses, headsets and other personal effects, Screenliner provides built-in power and inductive charging facilities as well as concealed power management. Meanwhile, hidden height adjustable monitor supports eliminate the clutter of yesterday’s office design where exposed monitor supports have previously dominated the design of the desk. Depending on your requirements, Screenliner can be optioned up to a first-class experience or toned down to premium economy.
Screenliner will be available for order in 2019, you can find more information here.
Be the first to view Screenliner at Orgatec 2018 – Hall 6.1 C058