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Does Traffic Noise Affect Work Performance?

Does Traffic Noise Affect Work Performance? The Answer is YES.

Does Traffic Noise Affect Work Performance

A relatively low level of noise from outdoor traffic can have cognitive effects on workers inside nearby buildings, according to Swedish researchers. This was captured in a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

A team from Chalmers University used a laboratory that had a speaker system that let researchers simulate sounds such as outdoor traffic.

Participants took tests in which letters were displayed and they had to press buttons – all while being subject to various noises. They also completed a subjective assessment of their workload rated in six areas: perceived mental workload, physical workload, time pressure, effort, performance and frustration level.

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The researchers found that noise levels as low as 40 decibels affected work performance.

“Near busy roads, it is difficult to achieve good indoor sound environments, even with well-insulated buildings and windows,” a university press release states.


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