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A study of classroom acoustics and school teachers' noise exposure, voice load and speaking time during teaching, and the effects on vocal and mental fatigue development

Kristiansen, Jesper; Lund, Soren Peter; Persson, Roger LU ; Shibuya, Hitomi; Nielsen, Per Moberg and Scholz, Matthias (2014) In International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 87(8). p.851-860
Abstract
Objectives The study investigated the noise exposure in a group of Danish school teachers. The aims were to investigate if noise posed a risk of impairment of hearing and to study the association between classroom acoustical conditions, noise exposure, vocal symptoms, and cognitive fatigue. Methods Background noise levels, vocal load and speaking time were measured on 35 teachers during actual classroom teaching. The classrooms were characterized acoustically by measurements of reverberation time. Before and after the workday, the teachers answered a questionnaire on fatigue symptoms and carried out two cognitive test tasks sensitive to mental fatigue. Results The average noise level during the lessons was 72 dB(A), but during indoor... (More)
Objectives The study investigated the noise exposure in a group of Danish school teachers. The aims were to investigate if noise posed a risk of impairment of hearing and to study the association between classroom acoustical conditions, noise exposure, vocal symptoms, and cognitive fatigue. Methods Background noise levels, vocal load and speaking time were measured on 35 teachers during actual classroom teaching. The classrooms were characterized acoustically by measurements of reverberation time. Before and after the workday, the teachers answered a questionnaire on fatigue symptoms and carried out two cognitive test tasks sensitive to mental fatigue. Results The average noise level during the lessons was 72 dB(A), but during indoor sports activities the average noise level increased 6.6 dB(A). Room reverberation time (range 0.39-0.83 s) had no significant effect on the noise level. The teachers were talking with a raised voice in 61 % of the time, and the vocal load increased 0.65 dB(A) per dB(A) increase in the average lesson noise level. An increase in voice symptoms during the workday correlated significantly with individual average noise exposure, and a decrease in performance in the two-back test correlated significantly with individual average vocal load. Conclusions Noise exposure in general classrooms posed no risk of noise-induced hearing impairment in school teachers. However, the results provide evidence for an association between noise exposure and vocal load and development of vocal symptoms and cognitive fatigue after work. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Reverberation time, Classroom noise, Noise effects, Voice symptoms, Cognitive fatigue
in
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
volume
87
issue
8
pages
851 - 860
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000346965900003
  • scopus:84919496023
ISSN
1432-1246
DOI
10.1007/s00420-014-0927-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
689a5c32-f1e0-4e2d-8950-e0c53c0a26ce (old id 5091470)
date added to LUP
2015-02-24 11:00:09
date last changed
2017-08-27 04:35:25
@article{689a5c32-f1e0-4e2d-8950-e0c53c0a26ce,
  abstract     = {Objectives The study investigated the noise exposure in a group of Danish school teachers. The aims were to investigate if noise posed a risk of impairment of hearing and to study the association between classroom acoustical conditions, noise exposure, vocal symptoms, and cognitive fatigue. Methods Background noise levels, vocal load and speaking time were measured on 35 teachers during actual classroom teaching. The classrooms were characterized acoustically by measurements of reverberation time. Before and after the workday, the teachers answered a questionnaire on fatigue symptoms and carried out two cognitive test tasks sensitive to mental fatigue. Results The average noise level during the lessons was 72 dB(A), but during indoor sports activities the average noise level increased 6.6 dB(A). Room reverberation time (range 0.39-0.83 s) had no significant effect on the noise level. The teachers were talking with a raised voice in 61 % of the time, and the vocal load increased 0.65 dB(A) per dB(A) increase in the average lesson noise level. An increase in voice symptoms during the workday correlated significantly with individual average noise exposure, and a decrease in performance in the two-back test correlated significantly with individual average vocal load. Conclusions Noise exposure in general classrooms posed no risk of noise-induced hearing impairment in school teachers. However, the results provide evidence for an association between noise exposure and vocal load and development of vocal symptoms and cognitive fatigue after work.},
  author       = {Kristiansen, Jesper and Lund, Soren Peter and Persson, Roger and Shibuya, Hitomi and Nielsen, Per Moberg and Scholz, Matthias},
  issn         = {1432-1246},
  keyword      = {Reverberation time,Classroom noise,Noise effects,Voice symptoms,Cognitive fatigue},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {851--860},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health},
  title        = {A study of classroom acoustics and school teachers' noise exposure, voice load and speaking time during teaching, and the effects on vocal and mental fatigue development},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00420-014-0927-8},
  volume       = {87},
  year         = {2014},
}