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  • 1.
    Burström, Lage
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    National Institute for Working Life Department of Work and the Physical Environment Umeå Sweden.
    Lindmark, Asta
    National Institute for Working Life Department of Work and the Physical Environment Umeå Sweden.
    Lindkvist, Markus
    University Hospital of Northern Sweden Department of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics Umeå Sweden.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Sahlgrenska University Hospital Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Gothenburg Sweden.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Acute effects of vibration on thermal perception thresholds2008In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 81, no 5, p. 603-611Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: This study focuses on the acute effects of vibration and how vibrations influence the measures of the thermal perception thresholds during different vibration magnitudes, frequencies, and durations. METHODS: The fingers of ten healthy subjects, five males and five females, were exposed to vibration under 16 conditions with a combination of different frequency, intensity and exposure time. The vibration frequency was 31.5 and 125 Hz and exposure lasted between 2 and 16 min. The energy-equivalent frequency weighted acceleration, according to ISO 5349-1, for the experimental time of 16 min was 2.5 or 5.0 m/s(2) (r.m.s.), corresponding to a 8-h equivalent acceleration, A(8) of 0.46 and 0.92 m/s(2), respectively. A measure of the thermal perception of cold and warmth was conducted before the different exposures to vibration. Immediately after the vibration exposure the acute effect was measured continuously on the exposed index finger for the first 75 s, followed by 30 s of measures at every minute for a maximum of 10 min. If the subject's thermal thresholds had not recovered, the measures continued for a maximum of 30 min with measurements taken every 5 min. RESULTS: For all experimental conditions and 30 s after exposure, the mean changes of the thresholds compared with the pre-test were found to be 0.05 and -0.67 degrees C for the warmth and cold thresholds, respectively. The effect of the vibration exposure was only significant on the cold threshold and only for the first minute after exposure when the threshold was decreased. The warmth threshold was not significantly affected at all. The frequency and the exposure time of the vibration stimuli had no significant influence on the perception thresholds for the sensation of cold or warmth. Increased equivalent frequency weighted acceleration resulted in a significant decrease of the subjects' cold threshold, not the warmth. The thresholds were unaffected when changes in the vibration magnitude were expressed as the frequency weighted acceleration or the unweighted acceleration. CONCLUSION: When testing for the thermotactile thresholds, exposure to vibration on the day of a test might influence the results. Until further knowledge is obtained the previous praxis of 2 h avoidance of vibration exposure before assessment is recommended.

  • 2.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Low outdoor temperatures and its association with noise exposure in the preschool2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Noise in the preschool: health and preventive measures2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is based on noise recordings and health evaluations carried out at preschools in the northern part of Sweden. Sound level recordings were made on individuals and by use of stationary devices in dining rooms and play halls. Health evaluations were based on ratings by use of questionnaires and by analyses of cortisol.

    The average equivalent individual noise exposure was 71 dB(A). The average equivalent noise levels in the dining room and playing halls were 64 dB(A). The hearing loss of the employees was significantly higher for the frequencies tested than in an unexposed control group. Symptoms of tinnitus were reported among 31% of the employees. Noise annoyance was rated as somewhat to very annoying, and the voices of the children were the most annoying noise source. The dB(A) level and fluctuations of the noise exposure were significantly correlated with the number of children per department. Stress and energy output were pronounced among the employees. About 30% of the staff experienced strong burnout syndromes. Mental recovery was low as indicated by noise fatigue and high levels of stress after work. Increased cortisol levels during work were associated with higher number of children present at the department.

    An essential finding of the thesis was that noise and noise sources may impair the pedagogic work, thereby increasing the work load of employees. It is concluded that noise exposure in the preschool, isolated or in combination with other stressors, plays a fundamental role in the building up of acute as well as long term stress. An intervention study implementing six acoustical and seven organizational measures was tested, aimed to improve the noise situation in the departments. Acoustical measures improved the noise situation as well as the rated noise experiences better than the organizational measures.

  • 4.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Buller2014In: Barns hälsa och miljö i Norrland: Miljöhälsorapport Norr 2013. 2014-04-16, Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2014, , p. 5p. 37-42Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Landström, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Measures against preschool noise and its adverse effects on the personnel: an intervention study2014In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 87, no 1, p. 95-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The aim of the study was to analyze the exposure effects of different types of noise measures carried out at preschools. The project was carried out as an intervention study.

    Methods

    The investigation included 89 employees at 17 preschools in the northern part of Sweden. Individual noise recordings and recordings in dining rooms and play halls were made at two departments in each preschool. The adverse effects on the employees were analyzed with validated questionnaires and saliva cortisol samples. Evaluations were made before and one year after the first measurement. Between the two measurements, measures had been taken to improve the sound environments at the preschools.

    Results

    The effects of the measures varied at lot, both with respect to the sound environments and health. Regarding acoustical measures, significant changes were seen for some of the variables analyzed. For most of the tested effects, the changes however were very small and non-significant. The effects of organizational measures on the objective and subjective noise values were in overall less pronounced.

    Conclusion

    Acoustical measures improved the subjectively rated sound environment more than organizational measures. This may be due to the high work effort needed to implement organizational measures. Even though the sound level was not lower, the personnel experienced improvements of the sound environment.

  • 6.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Landström, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Noise and stress effects on preschool personnel2012In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 14, no 59, p. 166-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the study was to analyze the presence of stress-related health problems among preschool employees and the way in which these reactions are related to noise and other work parameters. The investigation included 101 employees at 17 preschools in Umeå County, located in northern Sweden. Individual noise recordings and recordings in dining rooms and play halls were made at two departments from each preschool. The adverse effects on the employees were analyzed by use of different validated questionnaires and by saliva cortisol samples. Stress and energy output were pronounced among the employees, and about 30% of the staff experienced strong burnout syndromes. Mental recovery after work was low, indicated by remaining high levels of stress after work. The burnout symptoms were associated with reduced sleep quality and morning sleepiness. Cortisol levels supported the conclusion about pronounced daily stress levels of the preschool employees.

  • 7.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Landström, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Noise exposure and auditory effects on preschool personnel2012In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 14, no 57, p. 72-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hearing impairments and tinnitus are being reported in an increasing extent from employees in the preschool. The investigation included 101 employees at 17 preschools in Umeå county, Sweden. Individual noise recordings and stationary recordings in dining rooms and play halls were conducted at two departments per preschool. The effects of noise exposures were carried out through audiometric screenings and by use of questionnaires. The average individual noise exposure was close to 71 dB(A), with individual differences but small differences between the preschools. The noise levels in the dining room and playing halls were about 64 dB(A), with small differences between the investigated types of rooms and preschools. The hearing loss of the employees was significantly higher for the frequencies tested when compared with an unexposed control group in Sweden. Symptoms of tinnitus were reported among about 31% of the employees. Annoyance was rated as somewhat to very annoying. The voices of the children were the most annoying noise source. The dB(A) level and fluctuation of the noise exposure were significantly correlated to the number of children per department. The preschool sound environment is complex and our findings indicate that the sound environment is hazardous regarding auditory disorders. The fluctuation of the noise is of special interest for further research.

  • 8.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Landström, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Work related stress and stressors in the preschool environmentManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The study included six departments, with two employees at each department, characterized by high levels of stress and burnout and six departments, with two employees at each department, characterized by low levels of stress andburnout. A total of 24 females with a mean age of 43.5 years participated in the study. The employees rated stress at work and burnout by use of different questionnaires. Cortisol samples were collected at wake up, one hour afterwake up, at 11:00 am and at 09:00 pm. An observation study was made to create an overview of the interactionbetween the children and the personnel during periods described as overloading.

    More than 50% of the employees stated that all members of the staff did not have equal commitment to the work. About 8% considered this stressful to a high degree. More than half found their increased administrative work task as stressful to a high degree. Half of the personnel felt it stressful to a high degree, not being able to give all the children the attention they needed.

    The highest stressors regarding the organization of the work were when conflicts occurred among the personnel. The highest stressors regarding noise were the children´s voices closely followed by noise when changing the children´sclothes. The highest stressor regarding the constitution of the child group was when the personnel experienced that they had a child in the group they thought needed special support. In general, the high stress group rated all stressors as higher compared to the low stress group. Significant differences were pronounced among stressors regarding“organization of the work” and “work situations”. The results also indicate that individuals who are highly stressed by noise from the childrens activities rated their rewards as lower. The high stress group had more communications to and from the children, both before lunch and during lunch.

    An essential conclusion, is also that noise and noise sources, may impair the work situation of the employees fundamentally, thereby increasing the stress levels. It is assumed that noise exposures in the preschool, isolated or in combination with other stressor, plays a fundamental role in the building up acute as well as long term stress. One of the stand points of the study is that overloaded communication between the personnel and children might be a pronounced factor behind the situational and longterm stress.

  • 9.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Landstrom, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Minimizing speech contribution using different microphone noise dosimeter positions2012In: Proceedings of BNAM 2012 / [ed] Peter Juhl, Odense: University of Southern Denmark , 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Use of noise dosimeter recordings in low sound level environments is often problematic due to the voice contribution from the carrier. The aim of the study was to find a microphone position with low speech contribution while still providing an accurate sound level recording. An experiment with different microphone positions was conducted in a low sound reverberation room. Two types of noise dosimeters were used (Brüel & Kjaer 4445 and Larson Davis Spark 706-Atex). In repeated measurements the carrier was instructed to read a text chapter during 60 seconds and at a speech of level about 60 dB(A), acquired by practice, with different background noise and noise levels. White noise and preschool noise was used at sound levels 50, 60, 70 and 80 dB(A). The voice contribution to the background noise level was then measured. Three microphone positions were tested; on the shoulder, above the ear and on the back of the head. The position with the microphone placed behind the head of the carrier had the lowest speech contribution, less than 2 dB(A) to the background noise at 70 dB(A). This compared to positions right above the ear 6 dB(A and on the shoulder 12 dB(A).

  • 10.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Landstrom, Ulf
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Lindberg, Lennart
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik.
    Knutsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Folkhälsovetenskap.
    Tinnitus, noise and health effects in preschool environments2012In: Proceedings of BNAM 2012 / [ed] Peter Juhl, Odense: University of Southern Denmark , 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The study included 93 employees at 17 preschools in the county of Umeå located in northern part ofSweden. Personal daily noise dosimeter recordings were made at five representative work days.Stationary noise recordings were made during the same days at two departments of each preschool, in theplaying halls and in the dining rooms. Besides audiometric tests, the employees rated their experiences ofthe noise, hearing and tinnitus as well as well as different health effects, on validated questionnaires.Tinnitus was reported among 31 per cent of the participants. The study group was dichotomized intoemployees with or without tinnitus. Employees with tinnitus reported higher prevalence of subjectivehearing loss, higher experiences of elevated sound levels at work, anxiety of the noise at work, chestpressure/pain, burn out symptoms, depression and reduced sleep quality. Significant differences wereseen for shoulder tension/pain. No group differences were seen for the objective personal or stationarynoise measures or the number of children present at the department. The results of the study are discussedin terms of underlying causes and the way in which the symptom interfere with experiences and healtheffects of the employees.

  • 11.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Neely, Gregory
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Child group constitution and its relation to noise in preschools2015In: INTER-NOISE-2015 / [ed] Courtney Burroughs and George Maling, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    During recent years in Sweden the number of complaints regarding hearing related disorders from employees working in the preschool (kindergarten) has increased. It is often assumed that the size of the child group is the crucial factor associated with the high noise levels. However, the association between the noise levels and the size of the child group is not fully understood. Further, it is likely that the gender balance and the age of the children have an effect on the noise levels in the preschools.

     

    The aim of the study was to investigate the association between noise in the preschool and the constitution of the child group in terms of number of children, gender balance and the children’s age.

     

    Noise levels were recorded at 34 preschool sites in Sweden using stationary sound level meters with an external microphone mounted in the ceiling in the dining room and the play halls at each site. Sound level measurements were carried out during 2-3 days in each room during the entire workday. Data regarding the constitution of the child group for every day was collected at the end of the week from the enrollment list. 

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