Mathias Basner studies how the noise we hear everywhere throughout our daily lives affects our health in ways that go far beyond our hearing.
“Built for Health: Acoustics and Sounds.” US Green Building Council Podcast. 2018.
“Noise Is The Next Great Public Health Crisis.” Futurism. 2017.
"The Effect of Noise on Hearing.” BBC World Service. 2014.
“Auditory and non-auditory effects of noise on Health.” Lancet. Volume 383. 2014.
01:00 — "Whenever you leave a concert or a bar and you have that ringing in your ears, you can be certain that you have done some damage to your hearing, likely permanent."
The fact that the ears are ringing is a sign that the cochlea was exposed to high noise levels for a long enough time, which has been shown to induce hearing loss in the long run. However, like everything, these effects are cumulative. A single exposure in one's lifetime will probably be without consequence, but repeated exposures like this very likely mean permanent damage.
03:51 — "Our body excretes stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that lead to changes in the composition of our blood and in the structure of our blood vessels, which have been shown to be stiffer after a single night of noise exposure."
The paper I was referring to here is from Schmidt et al.'s 2013 article, "Effect of nighttime aircraft noise exposure on endothelial function and stress hormone release in healthy adults". The noise exposures were placed days apart, and effects could be seen after the first night of noise exposure.
04:05 — "Epidemiological studies show associations between the noise exposure and an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke ..."
It should be noted that the evidence for hypertension and myocardial infarction is better than for stroke, the association for which appears to be dependent on the type of noise, stroke and epidemiological study conducted. One helpful overview of such research:
Van Kempen, E., Casas, M., Pershagen, G., and Foraster, M. "WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region: A Systematic Review on Environmental Noise and Cardiovascular and Metabolic Effects: A Summary". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018
05:52 — "In the past, we've done studies on the effects of traffic noise on sleep, and research subjects would often wake up in the morning and say, "Ah, I had a wonderful night, I fell asleep right away, never really woke up." When we would go back to the physiological signals we had recorded during the night, we would often see numerous awakenings and a severely fragmented sleep structure."
One such study example includes the article I co-authored with Uwe Müller and Eva-Maria Elmenhorst in 2011, "Single and Combined Effects of Air, Road, and Rail Traffic Noise on Sleep and Recuperation".
09:42 — "Robert Koch supposedly once said, "One day, mankind will fight noise as relentlessly as cholera and the pest.""
Although this powerful quote, cited in books and talks like mine, is often assigned to Robert Koch, I could not locate a reference that corroborates him as the source of this statement. As such, it may not have actually been spoken by him.
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all play a part in our comfort within the spaces we live and work.
Health has expanded to encompass many more non-traditional practices. As we look beyond the physical self to the environment around us, we find there are many elements that influence our well being, such as sights, sounds, aromas and emotions that influence our health. Does baroque music energize us? Do we feel warmer in a green room?
Our Speakers ask us to explore our relationship with sights, sounds, smells and emotions, and how they move us towards or away from improved health.