Operating rooms that are too noisy are just as difficult to work in as offices where ambient noise is too loud. Bush, Way, Long, Weighing, Ritchie, Jones, and Shinn investigated working in operating rooms: “Ambient background noise—whether it is the sound of loud surgical equipment, talkative team members, or music—is a patient and surgical safety factor that can affect auditory processing among surgeons and the members of their team in the operating room (OR) . . . .
Metin and his colleagues investigated links between background sound and impulsive behavior by people with ADHD. They determined that when background “pink noise” was added to a test environment “Children with ADHD made more impulsive choices than controls. Adding noise did not reduce impulsive choice in ADHD.” Previous research indicates that white noise helps students with ADHD concentrate (https://researchdesignconnections.com/pub/children-adhd-concentrate-bett...).
A Swedish study has empirically linked stress and hypersensitivity to sounds. Hasson, Theorell, Bergquist, and Canlon learned that “Women suffering from stress-related exhaustion exhibit hypersensitivity to sounds when exposed to stress.” During the study reported, men and women “between the ages of 23 and 71 with low, medium or high levels of 'emotional exhaustion' [experienced] five minutes of experimentally induced physical (hand in ice), mental (performance on a stress test) and social (being observed) stress.” Women participating in the study “
Positive acoustic experiences can be created in cities.
A review of the research and two important resources for those designing spaces that are pleasing acoustically.
Recent research has confirmed the importance of providing surgery patients with opportunities to hear soothing sounds during their procedures.
Researchers have linked environmental conditions inside American offices with the prevalence of headaches.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have investigated “how short noise bursts affect humans’ mental state,” playing “quarter-second long white noise clips . . . as [test subjects] worked on arithmetic problems.”
Victoria Newhouse has written an intriguing review of acoustics in performance venues, such as concert halls.
Trying to design to make healthy eating more likely?