Have A Noisy Workplace? Be Aware Of The Risks That It Poses To Your Heart
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High blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar were all found to be significantly higher in those exposed to frequent high volume at the workplace and this, in turn, impacted their heart health.
When we step into our workplace, we typically know that we will be spending anywhere upwards of eight hours a day within this space. Which is why it is very important to ensure that the physical work environment is comfortable and relaxed, so as to maximise efficiency and downplay the ill effects of the immediate environment. Recent studies indicate that the noisier an office is, the more likely it is to impact your health in multiple ways. While we all work in offices that are busy, there are certain roles that are more trying than others and some offices that are far noisier, like say a newsroom at a television station or a trading floor of a stock exchange, not to mention pilots who are inside noisy aircraft almost every single day of their life.
A new study that was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that noise pollution impacts health, especially that of your heart. The researchers found that those individuals who were exposed to loud noise and frequent high decibels were at a greater risk of cardio problems than others. High blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar were all found to be significantly higher in those exposed to frequent high volume at the workplace and this, in turn, impacted their heart health. In addition, it has been found that those who are exposed to a higher degree of noise pollution have a higher number of stress hormones which are damaging as they exert pressure on the arteries which put additional pressure on the heart. While it is difficult to conclusively establish that noise causes heart disease, it is evident that excessive noise leads to stress which leads to heart attacks.
How much is too much?
While we are all surrounded by noise, how does one know when the noise pollution is too much? The World Health Organization (WHO) has a decibel scale that is used to differentiate the types of sound and which one is better in the long run. According to WHO, any sound that cross the 60-decibel threshold can cause additional damage by way of stressing out the heart and other parts of the body, especially when there is a long-term exposure to it.
So as per this qualification, sound that hovers around the 60-decibel mark includes the noise made by air-conditioning unit, dishwasher, and other such noise that we consider a part and parcel of our daily lives. Sound that crosses the 60-decibel barrier include the noise of an airplane taking off (which falls in the 120-decibel range) and others like a hammer coming down repeatedly which is usually at the 100-decibel mark. The point is that when one is exposed to these types of sound repeatedly year on year, the heart does get stressed in the long run. So it is imperative that we are careful of the sound exposure.
If you are a pilot or a part of the cabin crew in an airline, or work in and around a construction site, or a have a job in a nightclub for that matter, and really can’t help the noisy work environment, try and offset that by using noise-cancelling headphones or doing some deep breathing and yoga as and when you have the time to reduce the ill effects of noise pollution.
While it is almost next to impossible to avoid loud noise if one lives in the city, small measures will go a long way in reducing stress and ensuring that one stays healthy.