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Indoor Air. 2016 Jun;26(3):366-79. doi: 10.1111/ina.12210. Epub 2015 Apr 27.

The effect of increased classroom ventilation rate indicated by reduced CO2 concentration on the performance of schoolwork by children.

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Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Aarhus N, Denmark.
Danish Technological Institute, Aarhus C, Denmark.


The article reports on an experiment which investigated the effect of increased classroom ventilation rate on the performance of children aged 10-12 years. The experiment was executed at two different schools (two classrooms at each school) as a double-blind 2 × 2 crossover intervention where four different performance tests were used as surrogates for short-term concentration and logical thinking. Only complete pairs of test responses were included in the within-subject comparisons of performance, and data were not corrected for learning and fatigue effects. Analysis of the total sample suggested the number of correct answers was improved significantly in four of four performance test, addition (6.3%), number comparison (4.8%), grammatical reasoning (3.2%), and reading and comprehension (7.4%), when the outdoor air supply rate was increased from an average of 1.7 (1.4-2.0) to 6.6 l/s per person. The increased outdoor air supply rate did not have any significant effect on the number of errors in any of the performance tests. Results from questionnaires regarding pupil perception of the indoor environment, reported Sick Building Syndrome symptoms, and motivation suggested that the study classroom air was perceived more still and pupil were experiencing less pain in the eyes in the recirculation condition compared to the fresh air condition.


Carbon dioxide; Children; Indoor environment; Performance; Schools; Ventilation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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