Background: The mental and physical comfort of students in the classroom is very important because it affects students’ learning. The structure of negative emotional states, including stress, anxiety, and depression is influenced by the building environment and its physical features.
Objectives: The present study aimed to survey the relationship between ventilation by window opening and female student’s stress, anxiety, and depression in high school classrooms.
Methods: The current study was conducted as a quasi-experimental method, using pre-test and post-test with the control group. Statistical population of this study was female students studying at Shiraz high schools during 2016 - 2017. A total of 384 students were selected randomly using Cochran’s formula for participation in the study. The students in 14 classrooms were divided into two groups of intervention and control. The pre-test was used for assessing stress, anxiety, and depression in DASS-21 questionnaires. The intervention group was then allowed to improve the air quality for 6 weeks by opening the window in the classroom. However, this discretion was not given to students in the control group. After 6 weeks of post-test, DASS 21 questionnaire was used.
Results: The mean stress score in the intervention group was 20.36 ± 4.326 at pre-test and 19.91 ± 5.162 at post-test and in the control group was 20.28 ± 5.348 at pre-test and 19.91 ± 5.162 at post-test. The mean anxiety score in the intervention group was 20.15 ± 4.705 at pre-test and 18.55 ± 4.673 at post-test and in the control group was 19.12 ± 5.272 at pre-test and 18.92 ± 5.0 at post-test. Also, the mean depression score in the intervention group was 18.29 ± 4.878 at pre-test and 18.53 ± 4.750 at post-test and in the control group was 17.83 ± 5.501 at pre-test and 17.28 ± 5.375 at post-test. Ventilation by window opening could significantly decrease the level of stress (P < 0.001) and anxiety (P < 0.001) but no significant difference was observed in depression (P = 0.067).
Conclusions: Ventilation by window opening in the classroom could reduce the stress and anxiety of female high school students in eight weeks, but did not affect the level of depression.