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The effect of environmental factors on human body and mind

The effect of environmental factors on human body and mind.

Environmental factors are those factors which surround the worker as he performs his task. The list of environmental factors that may have some bearing on physical well-being and therefore efficiency towards work can be pretty long. Some of the environmental factors temperature, noise and vibrations can be very often important factors in determining efficiency of worker because these factors may either lead to fatigue or strain or may create conditions that may accentuate the effects of fatigue, though these may not cause it. Other environmental factors like Drinking water and hygiene, Nutrition, Good housekeeping, safety, introduction of music in work environment and appropriate use of colors have relation with efficiency of work. 

The effect of environmental factors on human body and mind


Noise may be defined as unwanted sound. It causes fatigue and reduces efficiency of work. Efforts, should be made to minimize level of noise. There are two types of noise, namely internal and external Internal noise is caused by conversation, movement of employees through consider and going ways, running of machines etc. External noise comes from outside the factory premises. It enters through doors, windows and ventilates.


Adequate space should be provided for workers, materials tools and equipment for their free and unhindered movement from one machine or process to another.


Proper ventilation is necessary to provide fresh air. Electric fans, exhaust fans and air-conditioners can be used to regulate temperature and ventilation. Exhaust fans, Electric fans and air conditioners can be used to regulate temperature and ventilation. Electric fans calculate fresh air and exhaust fans expel the stack air.


One of the most important environment factors is lighting or illumination. Improper Illumination can cause accidents, discomfort to workers. defects in the eyesight of the workers in the long run. Even common sense tells us that tasks like proof reading, watch repairing and many such other tasks which require precision In work can be handled well only if proper illumination is available.

The Illumination Engineering Society (IES)has determined levels for various tasks for visual performance and visual comfort. As the methods used in determining these variable are often too complicated and require specialized knowledge, we include here any some of the levels of illumination recommended by IES.

Recommended Standards of illumination for different types of work:

S. No.The Type of WorkRecommended Illumination
1Surgical operation theatre2500
2Minute and fine precision work200-1000
4Fine assembly work100
5Fine work70
6Ordinary bench work50
7Normal work or auto-machine work30
8Rough work15
9Stair ways10
10Passage ways5


Vital proteins in the human body are adversely affected if the body is exposed to temperature exceeding 1040 F Both very high and very low temperatures make workers feel uneasy, fall ill, thereby adversely affecting their performance, efficiency and reducing both production and productivity. The human body can fairly withstand a temperature of 1040 F.

The heart beat rises by 10 for a rise in body temperature of 1 “E When the body is exposed to high temperature, large amount of perspiration process, sodium chloride is carried through the pores of the skin and is left on the skin surface as a residue when evaporation takes place.

This represents a direct loss to the system and may create a disturbance to the normal balance of fluids in the body. The result is heat fatigue and heat cramps, resulting in the increase of accidents. Loss in production also takes place when working conditions are undue cold.


Humidity of the atmosphere has little effect on thermal comfort sensation at or near comfortable temperatures unless it is extremely low or extremely high. Of the various measures of humidity, the relative humidity (RH) is the most relevant, as it determines the possible evaporation rate. Moisture contents of the air or humidity functions in two adverse ways: first it prevents evaporation of perspiration, second warm humid air appears warmer than its temperature because it interferes with evaporation. Studies have shown that between 680 and 70° humidity Humidity effect does not affect much the functioning of the body.


When a worker operates hand-held equipment such as a chain saw or jack hammer, vibration affects hands and arms and called as hand-arm vibration exposure when a worker sits or stands on a vibrating floor or seat. The exposure affects almost the entire body and  called as whole- body vibration exposure