n Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Psychosocial factors associated with sick building syndrome amongst office employees

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1010-2728



The relationship between psychosocial characteristics and sick building syndrome (SBS) was explored among 348 employees occupying two buildings engaged in the public sector in Pretoria, South Africa. One building was characterized as 'sick' (Building B), whilst the other was not a known sick building (Building A). Based on the Environmental Quality Survey and symptom checklist, respondents in the 'sick' building reported significantly higher levels of stress, lower levels of environmental control, lower levels of job satisfaction and lower overall environmental satisfaction. There was a significant relationship between job stress, job satisfaction and overall environmental satisfaction respectively, and the number of SBS symptoms reported by employees in each building. Multiple regression analysis revealed these variables significantly explained the variance in the number of symptoms reported in each building. The associations between psychological and symptoms characteristic of SBS suggest SBS symptoms may be attributed to psychosocial factors, or at least be psychologically mediated.

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