Cognitive test performance following exposure to noise in an open-office simulation study

Søren Peter Lund, Jesper Kristiansen, Roger Persson, Hitomi Shibuya, Jørn Toftum, Geo Clausen

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Objective: Noise in open-plan offices may increase mental fatigue of the employees at the end of the day. Measurements: 225 employees completed a screening questionnaire. Of these, 50 persons (33 females) who normally worked in open-plan offices agreed to participate in the experiment. All who participated completed two counter balanced experimental sessions, one with exposure to simulation of office noise (Leq=55 dB(A)) and one without noise (Leq=50 dB(A)). To simulate a workday, each session lasted about 7 hours, where the participants engaged in different computerised work tasks. Before and after each simulated workday, the participants performed different tests, including Choice Reaction Time (CRT) test, Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) test, and a Two-Back Task (TBT) test. Results: Working in noise did not affect the number of correct trials in the cognitive test after work. Yet, there were differences in performance between subgroups that were defined with respect to the degree of disturbance to noise they experienced in their normal work conditions. Conclusion: There were no signs of increased mental fatigue during the experimental sessions. However, there were slight differences in test performance between groups reporting being disturbed by noise for more or less than 50% of the time in their normal open office environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventJoint Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting 2012 - Odense, Denmark
Duration: 18 Jun 201220 Jun 2012


ConferenceJoint Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting 2012


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