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Annoyance and effects on work from noise at school
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational Medicine.
2000 (English)In: Noise and Health, ISSN 1463-1741, ESSN: 1998-4030, Vol. 2, no 8, 39-46 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate how students rate the annoyance and effects of noise in their working environment. 216 students, between the ages 13-15 years, and 12 teachers took part in this study. Sound level measurements were made for 20 minutes in the middle of a lesson for each class. On the measurement occasion the students were seated in a class room working on mathematics. Immediately after the sound level measurement, the students and the teachers filled in a questionnaire. The correlation between sound level and perceived annoyance and rated effect of noise on the students´ schoolwork was poor. The correlation between the annoyance and rated effect of noise on the students´ schoolwork was significant. Equivalent sound levels during mathematics lessons were 58-69 dB(A). Even though the sound levels were relatively high the students claimed that they were just moderately annoyed. More than 1/3 of the students claimed that the existing sound environment obstructed their work. No difference was found between boys and girls in rated annoyance and rated effect on their work. The younger students were more annoyed than the older ones. The participants claimed that chatter in the class room and scraping sounds from tables and chairs were the most annoying sound sources. The teachers shared this opinion. The concurrency between the students´ rating of their annoyance and the teachers´ rating of the students annoyance was remarkably low.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Medknow Publications, 2000. Vol. 2, no 8, 39-46 p.
Keyword [en]
School, noise, annoyance
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96321PubMedID: 12689460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96321DiVA: diva2:764102
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-11-18 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Classroom noise: exposure and subjective response among pupils
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Classroom noise: exposure and subjective response among pupils
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, all children must have access to education of equal value and the curriculum points out the importance of a good environment for development and learning. Modern working methods differ a lot from the traditional. Teaching nowadays is focused on problem-solving. Students are more interactive, working in groups and projects. The teacher has become a supervisor, guiding not lecturing.

Hearing loss, vegetative responses, biochemical effects, speech interference, behavioural effects and subjective reactions are all part of the problem of noise exposure. There is no unequivocal method of assessing noise and its effects. The most common method of noise assessment and appraisal of negative noise reactions is based on measurement of acoustic characteristics. Recommendations made and targets set by authorities are often stated in terms of equivalent Aweighted sound level L (A)eq.

The purposes of this thesis have been to increase knowledge of noise exposure in classrooms and the subjective response among pupils and also to identify factors of special importance when assessing negative noise effects in the classroom. The work consists of five separate articles considering different aspects of sound exposure and its adverse effects on pupils in school: three field studies, one article on development of a mood-rating instrument and one laboratory study. Analyses of exposure were based on equivalent sound levels and subjective responses were evaluated using ratings on a visual analogue scale and forced choice questions.

The results point to speech and structure-borne sounds as the most annoying sound sources to the pupils. Annoyance will increase with variability of the exposure. This is typical of the character of structure-borne sounds such as footsteps, scraping of chairs and tables and slamming of doors, as well as of speech.

The background sound level exposure levels in the classrooms ranged between 33 and 42 dB (A)eq. The background sound in about 2/3 of the classrooms investigated was considered to be LFN. Pupils exposed to high LFN levels were not more annoyed than pupils exposed to low LFN levels.

The activity sound level ranged between 47 and 69 dB(A)eq. These are levels that must be considered high for a work environment such as the school, which has at all times to be conducive to steady concentration, communication and learning. The risk of hearing damage during this exposure must be concidered as low. The thesis also describes the development of a mood-rating instrument to identify effects of noise and other aspects of the classroom environment. The questionnaire is easy to administer, takes little time to complete and is therefore well suited to studies in field settings.

The ratings of annoyance in the classroom correspond to the verbal definition “Somewhat annoying - Rather annoying”. Data from the field studies does not support the idea that the negative responce will increase with higher sound levels. In the laboratory setting, a relationship between increasing sound level and increase in rated annoyance was displayed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2003. 58 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 844
Keyword
school, teaching, students, annoyance children, sound, mood
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94109 (URN)91-7305-460-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-06-05, Stora föreläsningssalen, ALI Norr, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00
Opponent
Projects
digitalisering@umu
Note

Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Umeå universitet, 2003

Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-10-03 Last updated: 2015-04-10Bibliographically approved

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