Back in the old days, ensuring our schools and medical buildings had quality air circulation and ventilation was an essential part of the building process. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case in recent years and it has caused the indoor air quality to suffer where it matters the most.
Of course, that all started to change once the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States. Since people were forced to spend more time indoors, scientists and researchers started taking a great deal of interest in making schools and medical buildings safer for everyone involved.
What they found was quite disturbing. Not only were these buildings poorly ventilated, but they weren’t doing a good enough job of allowing fresh air indoors -- which was deteriorating the air quality for those inside, including the students, teachers, patients, and healthcare workers.
So, what are the benefits of fresh air?
Fresh air makes the world go ‘round. It’s what delivers the necessary amount of oxygen to our bodies, which we breathe in every waking second of our life. It’s a big reason why your doctor recommends spending time in the great outdoors and connecting with nature on a regular basis.
It’s also a big reason why they recommend opening your doors and windows frequently when indoors, that way you can allow that beautiful fresh air inside. Research suggests that fresh air indoors comes with a wide range of physical health benefits, as well as your overall well-being.
Let’s take a look at five of the most prominent benefits of fresh air, especially in schools and medical buildings where people are forced to spend a great deal of time indoors:
Improves Energy Levels & Focus
Believe it or not, getting fresh air in your system can lead to higher energy levels due to more oxygen in the blood and brain. With more energy, you have a sharper mind and body that allows you to work harder, relax, and relieve the stress that’s been holding you back for far too long.
This is very important in schools and medical buildings. Not only will it increase the mood of students and allow them to perform better academically, but it’ll boost the mood of patients and improve the performance of medical professionals that normally feel depleted and stressed.
Can Lower Blood Pressure & Heart Rate
Low levels of oxygen in the body cause your pulmonary arteries to narrow, which means your blood has to squeeze into a smaller space in order to travel throughout the body. This causes high blood pressure and results in the heart working extra hard to transport blood and oxygen.
This doesn’t create the ideal environment for students, teachers, patients, and health professionals. With every deep breath they take, their body has to work that much harder in order to supply their bodies with the necessary oxygen that we all need to perform at our best.
Getting Fresh Air Cleans Your Lungs
If schools and medical buildings don’t have proper ventilation and circulation, then the indoor air will contain an imbalance of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide -- as well as a number of airborne toxins and pollutants. Everytime you breathe, that poor air quality fills up your lungs.
Not only will fresh air lead to cleaner lungs, but it’ll lead to higher oxygen levels -- which helps to dilate blood vessels. This helps the body repair tissue and improve cleansing, which helps release airborne toxins and pollutants from the body. This is essential to a healthy body.
More Fresh Air Equals Higher Oxygen Levels
We’ve mentioned this several times, but it’s possibly the biggest benefit of fresh air. When schools and medical buildings are filled with fresh air, it ensures there’s an adequate amount of oxygen for those inside. Higher levels of oxygen mean a healthier mind, body, and spirit.
Think about it -- schools and medical buildings are known to house a large number of people. The more people you have in a confined space, the more oxygen you need in that space -- otherwise those people will be forced to breathe in ‘used’ air, which can be harmful to the body.
Enhances the Immune System & Improves Healing
Every single cell in your body requires oxygen in order to function at its best. This includes white blood cells, which are cells that help fight infection and kill bad bacteria inside the body. Without the right amount of oxygen, these white blood cells won’t do what they’re designed to do.
In addition to improving immunity and healing, fresh air also helps you digest food, fall asleep, and improves cardiovascular health -- which are needed to ensure the body gets the necessary nutrients, oxygen, and time to recover. As we said, fresh air makes the world go ‘round.
Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools & Medical Buildings
Ensuring schools and medical buildings have proper ventilation and air circulation needs to be at the forefront of building design. Don’t worry, below we’re going to discuss some of the things you can do to make the necessary improvements in indoor air quality for everyone involved:
- Make sure you’re cleaning frequently to remove pollutants, dust, mold, etc.
- Don’t be afraid to open those windows or doors to filter out used air and let in the fresh air.
- Change air filters frequently and ensure your HVAC unit is working properly at all times.
- Utilize fans near windows to help fresh air circulate through a room quicker.
- Invest in air purifiers to rid your space of indoor allergens.
- Have your indoor air quality measured frequently to ensure you’re seeing results.
- Control indoor humidity to prevent mold from growing and spreading.
- Don’t use cleaning products that release harmful chemicals into the air.
- Indoor plants can help, but make sure they’re tended to properly.
- Hire a professional certified HVAC Test and Balancer to open dampers to allow proper outside ventilation but not too much to raise energy bills considerably
In addition to that, you should also be avoiding screen time (phones, computers, etc.) and getting outdoor exercise, which you can achieve by taking a walk, hiking, or going for a jog. That’s why students, teachers, patients, and medical professionals all need a break each day.
For more helpful information and useful tips when ensuring an ideal environment for students, teachers, healthcare workers, and patients, contact Mechanical Testing, Inc. today!