Stress Factor School?

Iris Anczikowski

project report

Saving energy has been a major objective of my school for 2 years. However, in my opinion many people are suffering even more from waste of human energy than waste of natural resources and fossil fuels. I had the idea to do a stress test to identify impact and causes of wasted human energy in order to address this problem, i.e. to save human energy.

Blood pressure and pulse measurements were obvious observables for my stress test. I had access to a manometer and a heart rate monitor that can record long term measurements. I selected both teachers and students for my comparative study and tested them on average school days with typically five or six lessons. Furthermore, I developed a flyer with information as well as two questionnaires and an activity plan that every participant had to complete. This allowed the interpretation of the blood pressure and heart rate results. The study began with an 8 hour self test which generated results that I found very interesting. Thereafter, I tested teachers and students, which generated more interesting results. Time pressure resulting from delays in narrow corridors of St. Michael-Gymnasium clearly led to stress for many study participants. I found social stress just as often as psychological stress. The causes were easily identified and led to specific recommendations for stress reduction, i.e. for reducing the waste of human energy at St. Michael-Gymnasium.

The following can be improved at St. Michael-Gymnasium:

It is important to pay more attention to sources of stress and stress reducing measures already in the planning phase of new schools. Noise damping classrooms, large windows, a central location for the staff room and wide corridors are possible improvements that enable students and teachers to make more effective use of their valuable human energy.

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