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Enhancing patient and staff well-being using design

Fast forward to 2017 and our environments are even noisier. With technology accelerating we have more beeps, bleeps and buzz than ever before. Without even realising it this noise and our surrounding interiors has an impact on our health and wellbeing. 

Decibels can be used to compare various different things, such as sound, or electricity. But fundamentally, what is being compared is always related to some form of power or energy, in this case, sound.

It is measured using a logarithmic scale:

  • The smallest audible sound 

  • (near total silence) is 0 dB. 

  • A sound 10 times more powerful is 10 dB. 

  • A sound 100 times more powerful than near total silence is 20 dB. 

  • A sound 1,000 times more powerful than near total silence is 30 dB.

Common Sounds and their dB ratings:

  • A Whisper 15dB

  • Normal Conversation 60dB

  • A Lawnmower 90dB

  • A Car Horn 110dB

  • Rock Concert or Jet Engine 120dB

  • Gun Shot or Firework 140dB

The average sound levels in a hospital during daytime hours has risen from 57 decibels in the 1960s to 72 decibels. At night the change is from 42 decibels to 60 decibels, affecting the sleep of people who need it the most - those who are unwell. The World Health Organisation suggested in their 1995 hospital noise guidelines that sound levels in patient rooms should not exceed 35 decibels. Noise in hospitals is well above the recommended figures.

Posted: 28/06/2017 1:30:37 AM by Crystal Richardson | with 0 comments

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