For Health



Are you a participant?


Are you a building owner
or manager?


About the Study

Our goal is to improve the lives of all people, in all buildings, everywhere, every day. The COGfx Study 3 - Global Buildings aims to study buildings all over the world to determine the building factors that influence health, wellbeing, and productivity. We believe that this information will help building managers, designers, architects, and developers create healthy work environments. If your building is participating in the study, we invite you to join the first ever buildings cohort.

For Health App

This study will be the first to use the For Health App, an app for your mobile phone that makes participating the study simple. If you participate in the study, the For Health App will guide you through all aspects of the study. In particular, it will:

  • help you set up your environmental sensor and wearable device
  • provide a dashboard to summarize your exercise, heart rate and sleep and the environmental conditions at your workstation
  • notify you when you have surveys to complete
  • track your progress so that you get compensated for your participation


How often do I have to wear the wearable device?

We encourage you to wear the wearable device as much as possible, but you are welcome to take it off it bothers you. As it tracks sleep duration and exercise, wearing outside of work is beneficial to our team. The study is broken into periods with more active engagement. During those periods we ask that you wear the watch the whole time (excluding in water). In between these periods, you are not required to wear the watch, although you are more than welcome to.

Will I receive an analysis of my health and cognitive performance?

You will be able to see your personal data from the wearable device and environmental sensor on the App. You will not be able to see the results of your surveys or cognitive tests, and our team will not share them with anyone else either.

Do I have to inform the researchers if I go on vacation and/or out of the office for other reasons?

No. If you miss a survey, it will be available for at least one month, so you will be able to complete it once you return to the office.

What if I lose my wearables or it malfunctions?

You can contact our team and we will ship you a replacement.

When are the cognitive function tests and surveys administered?

Surveys and cognitive tests will only occur during working hours (Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm). There is no set frequency or schedule to them, but you should anticipate approximately 10 minutes a week of surveys and tests. This is equivalent to about 5 short surveys a week. The surveys are usually available for several hours, so you can complete them at your convenience. You will receive a notification when a survey is about to expire.

What information is being collected by the For Health App and how is it stored?

For the wearThe For Health App collects information from the wearable device (sleep, steps, and heart rate), from the environmental sensor, and from your survey responses. All data is deidentified, meaning that the data is not connected to any personal identifiers such as your name. The data from the wearable is stored in your Fitbit account, which you and the study team have access to, and the all other data is stored in a secure Harvard server. able device, we are using a Fitbit Charge 2. This measures sleep duration, number of steps, and heart rate. The participant will make a Fitbit account on their phone and the watch will pair with the phone using bluetooth. Our team will have access to their Fitbit data through their account. The environmental data is sent to a secure database managed by the Harvard data.

What will I be doing as part of the study?

Using your smart phone, you will be pinged periodically with surveys or cognitive tests to complete. The surveys will range in length, from as short as 1 minute to as long 15 minutes. These surveys and tests will become available to you on the For Health App. If you are busy when notified of a new survey, you will be able to complete the survey at a later date.

You will also be provided an indoor environmental sensor to leave at your desk and a Fitbit wristwatch that will track your sleep and activity. The data from these devices will be shown on the dashboard in the For Health App.

How long will the study take?

As a participant, you will complete approximately 7 hours of surveys and cognitive tests. These surveys and tests will be spread out over the course of 1 year. During this time, you will use the wearable device and be provided questions on the App.

How will my data be used?

This research aims to investigate how buildings influence the occupants inside them. The data collected in this study will be used to research how specific building factors impact occupant health and wellbeing.

Your individual data will be linked to your ID number to maintain confidentiality and will never be shared outside of the study team. Only aggregated data will be shared with collaborators or made public.

How do I get started?

It’s as simple as clicking the join now button at the top of this page! Once you do, you will be asked to answer several questions to confirm that you are eligible to participate in the study. If you are eligible, you will receive a sensor package from your building or office manager which will provide more information on how to get started.

Have any other questions?

Contact the study team at

Meet the Team

Joseph Allen, DSC, MPH, CIH

Principal Investigator

Usha Satish, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

John Spengler, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Piers MacNaughton, ScD

Project Manager

Memo Cedeno Laurent, ScD

Project Manager


COGfx Study 1

Indoor Environmental Quality

COGfx Study 2