Research recently completed in Sweden indicates that reducing traffic-related noise levels in buildings should be a high priority and that the tools used to do so can not only improve the health of space users, but also the planet. Kihlman and Kropp learned that “Traffic noise is today linked to stress-related health problems such as stroke and heart disease. . . .No simple technical solution exists for solving the traffic noise problem – neither at the source nor for preventing noise from reaching ears. . . . ‘Many of the needed measures are ideal for implementation in dense cities.
Environmental psychologists (for example, Mahnke) have been discussing the dangers of understimulating environments for years. Now, in related research, Wilson and his team have learned that study “participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts.