Effects of Personalized Environmental Control (PEC) on User Comfort, Health and Typing Performance
Authors: Alan Hedge a
Abstract: Result are presented for an experiments investigating the effects of the personal control of the thermal micro-environment on typing performance and environmental comfort ratings. Twelve participants performed typing tasks for two 2 hours sessions in individual cubicles, each with its own air handling module, in a climate controlled laboratory. For each session the initial thermal condition was an air temperature of 26.7°C. Cubicles were paired. For each session half of the participants were able to control air temperature using a custom designed software interface, while the others experienced identical thermal conditions without control and the order of having no control/control was counterbalanced. Results showed a small but significant difference in cubicle air temperature among cubicles (p = 0.000) and an effect of time-of-day on cubicle air temperature (p = 0.035) - the mean temperature was slightly higher in the morning session (26.2°C) than the afternoon session (26.0°C). Cubicle air temperature was significantly positively correlated with ratings of air temperature (p = 0.000) and negatively correlated with ratings of air freshness (p=0.000), and air movement (p=0.000) There was a significant effect of personal control on ratings of overall air movement (p=0.042). There was no significant effect of personal control on cubicle temperature, or ratings of thermal comfort, health symptoms, effort and alertness, or on typing performance. Implications of the study will be discussed.
Keywords: Personal environmental control, Thermal comfort, Temperature, Typing performance
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