PhD: Indoor Environmental Quality, Pupil’s Health and Academic Performance

In Finnish elementary schools, noise and poor air quality in classrooms were most commonly reported causes of inconvenience. The health symptoms most commonly reported were headache, fatigue and stuffy nose. Students complained more about stuffy air or poor air quality in their classroom when ventilation was low or when temperature was high. It was found that an uncomfortable classroom temperature, low ventilation and water/moisture damage on school building materials may result in students having respiratory symptoms. The findings further revealed that more students may miss school because of respiratory symptoms in schools with inadequate ventilation. Inadequate ventilation may also affect students’ academic performance. It is important to note that, the amount of ventilation in classroom was affected by the type of ventilation system used in the school, the number of students in a classroom, and how well the ventilation systems are maintained.

The results from the US elementary schools revealed that academic performance, including percentage of students scoring satisfactorily in mathematical and reading tests, was associated with ventilation rates and indoor temperatures in classrooms. Low classroom ventilation rates associated with increased number of times students visited school nurses due to respiratory symptoms. In addition, biological contamination of high contact surfaces such as desk tops, cafeteria tables and bathroom sinks, associated with increased number of visits to nurses due to gastro-intestinal symptoms.

In Nigerian schools ventilation was adequate in the classrooms examined but temperature was high, especially later on in the afternoon. The study further revealed the lack of functioning bathrooms in majority of schools studied, as well as moderately high biological contamination on students’ desks.

Read the PhD thesis:'s_Health_and_Academic_Performance
ISIAQ - March 2018

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