Can Noise be the Cause of Health Problems?

Did you know that noise can cause health problems? If you ever turned off that music pumping into your ears, you may just find out that it can!

Most of us love to drown out the noise around us with music, movies, and audiobooks, but that noise can add to the health problems caused by too much noise. Let's take a look at a few of the health problems caused by noise:

Reduces Brain Function

Research has found that open-floor offices have an odd mixture of sound that will actually reduce the ability of their employees to remember information, as well as perform simple mathematical tasks. To make things even worse, this open-floor plan can be a cause for stress, producing the same "fight or flight" response that you get in tough situations. The problem, however, is that the stimulation lasts all day, so far too much cortisol - the stress hormone - is produced. Cortisol reduces brain function, so it's not a good hormone for those that need to think!

Causes Heart Attacks

A 2011 report released by the World Health Organization and the Joint Research Centre run the European Commission found that chronic exposure to noise can lead to heart problems. Chronic noise exposure can cause you to have higher blood pressure, particularly if the noise is very loud - such as an airplane landing or a train passing. Higher blood pressure means a greater risk of heart attacks!

Impedes Memory

Many people - myself included - use headphones to pump music directly into their ears, drowning out the noise around you. Music can boost your mood and make you feel much more alert, but it will impair your memory at the same time. Listening to music you enjoy can help you to remember more than you would listening to music that you can't stand, but overall listening to music via headphones can actually stop you from remembering important things. There's nothing like a bit of silence to help you remember those things you need to.

Promotes Discomfort

Studies have found that noisy offices don't just lead to stress, but also to discomfort. Women sitting in a noisy office were more likely to hunch over their desks, and they were less aware of their posture. They were less likely to make adjustments to their posture to get more comfortable, so they developed back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome when it could have otherwise been avoided.

Impair Learning

It's not just your memory that will be affected by noise, but your ability to learn as well. Studies have found that the levels of noise in classrooms can affect children's abilities to learn, as children in classrooms near noisy train tracks fell an entire year behind children studying in a quiet classroom. Teachers end up teaching less in noisy classrooms, and the children also learned a whole lot less.

 

Wow! It's amazing to think of just how many problems noise can cause, even when you think you're doing the right thing by blocking out the outside noise around you. If you think that listening to your favorite music will help you to learn as you study or go over those important documents, you are definitely wrong! You should unplug those headphones, turn off that music, and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet if you really want to keep your mind and body working properly.

Take steps to prevent and avoid noise pollution in your home, and you'll find that you're a whole lot healthier - both mentally and physically - thanks to your efforts to cut noise out of your life!

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