1 IDINE / Facultad de Enfermería. UCLM (SPAIN)
2 IDINE. Facultad de Enfermería (UCLM) / Gerencia de Atención Integrada de Alcázar de San Juan. SESCAM (SPAIN)
3 E.S. Ingenieros Industriales. UCLM (SPAIN)
4 Conservatorio de Música. AMUCLM (UCLM) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 3395-3403
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0654
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers that noise-related problems can mean health problems. Around 22% of the population in Europe feels affected by the effect of noise. Noise pollution is understood as excess sound that alters the normal conditions of a given area in particular, and of living beings in general. Excess sound is known as noise, which causes noise pollution.

Nowadays, the way youths enjoy themselves centres on noise, particularly music, with levels that exceed 100 dBA in leisure areas. Thus noise has become a serious pollution factor and its effects accumulate. Youths more frequently attend these areas who are unaware of the damaging effects of this exposure.

The WHO has classified noise effects on the organism into different sections according to their specific effects: Hearing deficiency; Interference in oral communication; Sleep disorders; Physico-physiological effects on mental health and performance; effects on conduct; interference with activities. In relation with the learning process, it has been observed that apart from noise producing impaired hearing among students, it also alters sleep, causes stress and leads to the development of vocal nodules. A series of cognitive effects directly associated with the learning process has also been related given its effect on memory, attention, motivation, and a series of underlying mechanisms and processes.

Evaluating the noise level to which university students are exposed in their leisure time has been considered interesting given its implication as a possible barrier against the learning process. Awareness can be raised from the classroom by means of those subjects where these problems to be studied are dealt with; e.g., the Biochemistry subject in Nursing Degree studies.
To know noise levels in the leisure areas to which university students from Albacete (Spain) frequently attend.

An observational, descriptive and cross-sectional study that randomly selected 12 leisure areas in the city of Albacete. The dependent variable was the equivalent continuous noise level that students were submitted to in their leisure time, while the independent variables were the places where distributed measures were taken in turns, defined as evening and nighttime.
The instrument that measured the noise levels was a Bruel & Kjaer sound level meter type 2.226, collected in Leq dBA.

The mean noise levels measured in the defined turns was 78.7 dBA (SD: 4.14 dBA), with higher levels measured in the nighttime turn with a mean of 83.2 dBA (SD: 9.48 dBA). A statistically significant association between the noise levels measured at weekends and on weekdays (p<0.05) was observed.

The noise levels taken in the leisure areas to which university students frequently attend exceeded the limits considered by the WHO as recommendable (65.0 dBA). However, noise levels did not exceed the limits set by current legislation for leisure premises in the city of Albacete, which lie between 75.0 and 90.0 dBA. It would be interesting to make our students aware in class about noise problems, mainly the negative effects that noise can have on their learning process.
Noise, Noise levels, University students, Leisure areas, Barrier, Learning.