Research shows that
everyday noise affects your body; here's what you need to know
to lessen the effects.
A new study in the
journal Environmental Health Perspectives says that everyday
noise such as cell phone rings and conversation can affect the
rhythm and the rate of your heart.
After monitoring 110 adults' daily heart rate activity and noise
exposure, German researchers found that as a person's exposure
to noise increased, so did their heart rate. On the other hand,
their heart rate variability, or the time interval between heart
beats, decreased. But the lesser the variability, the greater
the risk of heart attack, says the study.
when the noises stayed below 65 decibels ( safe levels) ,
participants' heart rate still went up. According to the
study, there are also other factors to consider. For example,
the way a person perceives a sound—annoying or
pleasant—could influence their psychological reaction.
Know your limit.
The WHO cut-off for safe levels is 85 dB. Normal conversation is
between 60-65 dB, the refrigerator hum about 40 dB, heavy
traffic, hairdryer, blender is approximately 85 dB. Hand drill
is around 100 dB. Habitual exposure to noise above 85 dB will
lead to gradual hearing loss in many people. In fact, the
‘safe limit’ decreases by half for every 5 point increase in
the noise level- your exposure should be limited to 8 hours
perday at 90 dB. Don’t expose unprotected ears to noise
over 140 dB.
Create a barrier between the noise and
your ears whenever possible. Roll up car windows, sound-proof
your home with heavy drapes, wear earplugs / earmuffs when you
are in a noisy situation.