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January 2022

Continuous exposure to noisy work environments does affect preferred leisure noise levels

Author(s): Kwiatkowski, C., Lisnerski, D., Sprague, K., Davis, S.

Journal/Book: Int J Ind Ergonomic. 1996; 17: PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Elsevier Science BV. 499-511.

Abstract: Although noise research concentrates principally on the workplace, recent studies have shown that preferred leisure noise may be as loud as 10 dBA higher than workplace levels. This two-phase study compared leisure noise preferences for workers who were exposed to either a 'loud' (greater than or equal to 85 dBA) or 'not loud' (< 85 dBA) work environment. Phase 1 examined 110 subjects' noise level preferences that were recorded before and after work for a one-day observation. Phase 2 recorded 12 additional subjects' preferences for five consecutive days. Analysis of both phases' results determined that leisure noise levels prior to work were not significantly different. Those exposed to the 'loud' environment preferred noise levels significantly higher (6.5 to 9 dBA) than their before work levels. Over the five consecutive days (Phase 2) only the 'loud' group preferred noise levels significantly higher after work (Day 5 versus Day 1). Thus, it can be concluded that 'loud' work environments and consecutive daily exposure to these environments do influence preferred leisure noise levels.

Note: Article R Yearout, Univ N Carolina, Dept Management, Asheville, NC 28804 USA

Keyword(s): leisure noise levels; noise level preferences; noisy work environment; SEL; LEQ; SMAX; PEAK noise levels; HEARING

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