Health and Wellbeing - Ecophon's acoustics podcast
Did you know we are always subconsciously listening to our surroundings?
Even before we are born, we are able to hear, and when we are at school, noise is an impediment to learning. In this new podcast we discuss health and well-being, and the positive impact of the right sound environment.
In the first part of the podcast, Ecophon's Healthcare Concept Developer, Andrea Harman, discusses with Peter Rogers and Louise Conroy from Sustainable Acoustics the changes which should be considered in healthcare environments to improve the experience of patients.
Healthcare environments need to consider the sound outside of the building as well as inside the building; such as alerts from the machines, other patients, constant ringing phones etc. These noises would be described as negative noise as they create an unwanted atmosphere/response for those trying to recover. Peter Rogers explains how architects and healthcare environments should consider creating ‘soundscapes’ for patients in recovery to allow them to “focus on sound as a nutrient”. This would be a place with sounds which makes them feeling comfortable such as a beach room with the sound of waves.
In the second section, we discuss with Andrew Parkin, Acoustics Partner at Cundall, the importance of acoustics standards in education, and how virtual reality is being used to help designers and users better understand the impact of good acoustic design before construction starts. He emphasizes that architects / builders do not appreciate acoustics due to the effect of them not being visually seen, as well as the lack of funding in educational buildings.
Lindsey’s Acoustic Wheel describes acoustics as the science which deals with production, control, transmission, receptions and effects of sound. The wheel consists of four main fields which are Arts, Earth Sciences, Engineering and Life Sciences – this is then followed with an outer circle. The outer circle is described as the topics which one may choose to study for a career within acoustics, whereas the inner circle relates to the disciplines which acoustics naturally lead to.
Sustainable Acoustics apply the wheel to architectural acoustics; allowing us to create designs which satisfy listeners. The wheel also highlights how diverse the perspectives on acoustics are.
One section within Lindsey’s Acoustics Wheel is medicine. This links to healthcare, and shows how we can use sound as a medicine. Our skin and bones both allow sound to infiltrate through them, meaning we create a therapeutic effect on their body – this then allows the person to feel relaxed and as we know, we take ourselves away and try to relax in order to recover when we are ill. This is due to us having clear thinking, better sleep and a better imagination when we are in a relaxed environment. This environment can be created through sound as a medicine for patients.