Get Out Of That Stuffy Room If You Want To Have An Effective Meeting

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We humans breathe in oxygen—you probably knew this—and we breathe out carbon dioxide. In an enclosed space, it’s possible for carbon dioxide to build up in the air. Some research shows that meeting rooms and classrooms may be enclosed enough to reach mind-numbing carbon dioxide concentrations.

It’s a tricky question, though, and Veronique Greenwood recently tackled it for the New York Times. Some studies have found that people do worse on problem-solving tests after breathing air with 2,500 parts per million of carbon dioxide (a high-ish level you might see in a classroom or meeting room).

But other studies, including NASA ones that involved proofreading text, didn’t find a connection between stuffy air and performance. Maybe the effects are only noticeable on some types of tests, or maybe something about the study design or other aspects of the test-takers’ environment affected how they were able to think.

But since it’s possible that poor ventilation is a problem, the actionable advice for you and me might be to open a window if you’re spending a long time in a crowded, enclosed space—or to step outside when you get a chance.

Sure, you might have to deal with allergies or outdoor pollution, but taking a walk or spending time in nature tend to be good for you anyway.


Comments

    Following these papers I bought myself a combination CO / CO2 meter. In the 14 small rental cars and 3 different work utes, if you keep the aircon on recycle will stablise between 2200 - 4400ppm of CO2 after 15 minutes of driving. I can personally say it does not appear to cause focal issues. And even the author now armed with this info can probably directly quanitfy there past driving experiences.

    It does not dull your abilities to focus. But more makes your mind a little more likely to suggest distracting thungs in my own experience. Around 3000 and above your sense of taste also begins diminishing. And above 5000 things start tasting metallic. The meters cost about $400 so would not recommend it for everyone. As that was not the only reason I purchased it.

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