Vocal Ergonomics in the Workplace: Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning Method Influences on Vocal Comfort and Function Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning method on voice function following a voicing task using ecologically valid offices, one with radiant HVAC and one with forced air. Method A total of 12 consented participants (6 women, 6 ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   January 25, 2017
Vocal Ergonomics in the Workplace: Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning Method Influences on Vocal Comfort and Function
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary J. Sandage
    Auburn University, AL
  • Keith A. Rahn
    Auburn University, AL
  • Audrey G. Smith
    Auburn University, AL
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Mary Sandage: sandamj@auburn.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Jack Jiang
    Associate Editor: Jack Jiang×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   January 25, 2017
Vocal Ergonomics in the Workplace: Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning Method Influences on Vocal Comfort and Function
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0081
History: Received March 1, 2016 , Revised July 15, 2016 , Accepted July 20, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0081
History: Received March 1, 2016; Revised July 15, 2016; Accepted July 20, 2016

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning method on voice function following a voicing task using ecologically valid offices, one with radiant HVAC and one with forced air.

Method A total of 12 consented participants (6 women, 6 men) narrated a video in each of 4 environmental conditions in a within-between repeated-measures design. Acoustic data were collected with an ambulatory phonation monitor and perceived phonatory effort was determined following the voicing task. Data were analyzed using a within-between repeated-measures analysis of variance with significance set at α < .05.

Results Perceived phonatory effort did not differ between environments; however, a significant difference in vocal amplitude between 2 trials was identified for the male participants and physiologically significant differences in vocal amplitude were identified for male and female participants.

Conclusions The findings suggest that perceived phonatory effort may not be a sensitive measure of vocal function differences following a voicing task in ecologically valid office spaces despite significant acoustic findings. Future research should address longer exposure to environmental differences combined with a longer voicing task within ecologically valid work spaces as well as the recruitment of participants who have particular vulnerability to environmental perturbations.

Acknowledgments
The work presented in this manuscript was supported by funding from the Auburn University (Auburn, AL) Intramural grants program and the Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration Research (Auburn, AL) grant program (Mary J. Sandage and Keith A. Rahn were recipients of both grants). The content is novel work and solely the responsibility of the authors.
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