Sick building syndrome refers to the condition where you feel unwell while at work. However, when you leave, the symptoms clear up. The longer you stay in the building where your work is located, the worse the symptoms get. Conversely, the longer you stay away, the better you feel.

Sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms include nausea, headache, fatigue, dry and itchy skin, mental fatigue, sore throat, nasal congestion, difficulty concentrating, lethargy and odor sensitivity. As all of these symptoms can also be attributed to other common illnesses, sick building syndrome often goes unnoticed. The most obvious sign that you are suffering from this condition is if the symptoms disappear when you are away from the worksite.

The specific causes of SBS are unknown, but some common factors are that the building is sealed off from outside environments, the windows are unable to be opened, and the only ventilation is through heating or aid conditioning units. It is believed that these conditions do not allow enough ventilation to let germs escape from the building.

Prevent SBS by ensuring that the building is well ventilated, cleaned and well maintained. Putting a plant next to your desk can also help. This will naturally cleanse the air, releasing oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide.