Blue-enriched light improves general health of office workers
Research carried out at the Surrey Sleep Centre at the University of
Surrey in partnership with Philips Lighting has revealed that changing
traditional white-light lighting to blue-enriched white light helped
office workers stay more alert and less sleepy during the day.
The research also showed improvements in subjective measures of
positive moods, work performance, fatigue in the evening, irritability,
ability to concentrate and focus and eye strain. The workers also
reported improved sleep at night.
The blue-enriched white light is thought to be more effective because
it targets a recently discovered novel photoreceptor in the eye.
The research was conducted on 104 white-collar workers on two office
floors. After baseline assessments under existing lighting conditions,
every participant was exposed to two new lighting conditions, each
lasting four weeks.
One consisted of blue-enriched white light (17 000 K) and the other
of white light (4000 K). The order was balanced between the floors.
Questionnaire and rating scales were used to assess alertness, mood,
sleep quality, performance, mental effort, headache and eye strain, and
mood throughout the eight-week intervention.
Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, who lead the experiment comments, "This
research may indeed imply that our currently used artificial office
lighting is suboptimal for maintaining alertness."
The research was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work,
Environment & Health .
1. Viola AU, James LM, Schlangen LJM, Dijk D-J. Blue-enriched white
light in the workplace improves self-reported alertness, performance and
sleep quality. Scand J Work Environ Health 2008;34(4):297-306.
The abstract is available at:
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