Discovery of associative patterns between workplace sound level and physiological wellbeing using wearable devices and empirical Bayes modeling

Karthik Srinivasan, Faiz Currim, Casey M. Lindberg, Javad Razjouyan, Brian Gilligan, Hyoki Lee, Kelli J. Canada, Nicole Goebel, Matthias R. Mehl, Melissa M. Lunden, Judith Heerwagen, Bijan Najafi, Esther M. Sternberg, Kevin Kampschroer, Sudha Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conducted a field study using multiple wearable devices on 231 federal office workers to assess the impact of the indoor environment on individual wellbeing. Past research has established that the workplace environment is closely tied to an individual’s wellbeing. Since sound is the most-reported environmental factor causing stress and discomfort, we focus on quantifying its association with physiological wellbeing. Physiological wellbeing is represented as a latent variable in an empirical Bayes model with heart rate variability measures—SDNN and normalized-HF as the observed outcomes and with exogenous factors including sound level as inputs. We find that an individual’s physiological wellbeing is optimal when sound level in the workplace is at 50 dBA. At lower (<50dBA) and higher (>50dBA) amplitude ranges, a 10 dBA increase in sound level is related to a 5.4% increase and 1.9% decrease in physiological wellbeing respectively. Age, body-mass-index, high blood pressure, anxiety, and computer use intensive work are person-level factors contributing to heterogeneity in the sound-wellbeing association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management

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