The data shows 77% of the UK population deal with unwanted noise whilst in their homes, with almost a third (33%) said they have noticed more noise since Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2020.
Our research reveals that 31% of the UK population have had their sleep affected by unwanted external noise, with three in ten (30%) reporting that it stops them opening doors and windows, and a quarter (25%) saying it stops them relaxing. The increase in unwanted noise is also having a harmful effect on the wellbeing of the UK’s population, with two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed saying it negatively affects their mood. Nearly nine in ten (87%) of the general public also said a high level of external and internal noise would put them off buying a particular property.
This data adds to the growing evidence base showing the negative impact noise pollution has on everyday lives. The World Health Organisation has found that at least one million healthy life years are lost every year in Western Europe as a result of exposure to environmental noise, making it the second largest environmental cause of ill health, after air pollution. Studies have shown that exposure to unwanted noise can contribute to sleep disturbance, hypertension, and an increased risk of diabetes, dementia, stroke and heart disease
Darryl Matthews, Managing Director of ROCKWOOL UK, said: “The pandemic has led to more people working, studying, and spending time in their own homes. With this they’ve become more aware of unwanted noise and our results show it’s having a detrimental effect on their ability to relax, unwind, or even sleep.
“This is a massive issue currently flying under the radar. With more people now likely to work from home after the pandemic and increasing populations in our towns and cities, noise has the potential to be a critical issue and have a negative impact on people’s physical and mental health. High-quality housing with good acoustic design can go a long way in addressing noise issues. There is a pressing need for government, local authorities, and housebuilders to recognise that how we design and build our homes, and the materials we use, can play a huge part in improving people’s lives.”
Find out more about how ROCKWOOL’s acoustic solutions can reduce unwanted noise in the home, visit our acoustic insulation page.