The very first National Quiet Day took place yesterday (Wednesday September 14), and a study to mark it has revealed the noisiest appliance in UK homes.
National Quiet Day is celebrated on the second Wednesday of September, and was first established by appliance manufacturer Whirlpool in 2016, in association with renowned academics in the field of noise and psychology including Stephen Stansfeld, Professor of Psychiatry at Queen Mary University of London.
The initiative aims to recognise the importance of setting aside time from the noisy hustle and bustle of modern life to seek a little sanctuary in silence.
In a national survey of 2,000 adults commissioned by Whirlpool to highlight the problem of noise in UK households, it was discovered that over 47% of people consider a spinning washing machine to be the noisiest kitchen appliance, followed by a food processor (20%) and a kettle (7%).
Whirlpool senior brand manager Jennifer Taylor said: “The home should be the sanctuary, a place where the noise and commotion of daily life can be left behind – and a spinning washing machine that sounds like an aeroplane taking off is exactly the last thing that people want to have to put up with.
“National Quiet Day was the perfect opportunity to evaluate the importance of quiet in our lives, as we see more and more people choosing quiet appliances for their homes.”
She added that in response to this need, Whirlpool has developed noise-reducing technology for its washing machines. The ZENTechnology in the Quiet Mark-endorsed Supreme Care machines “ensures a super-silent 68 decibel spin cycle; the quietest on the market,” she said.
Other irritating noises in the poll included noisy neighbours, barking dogs and car alarms, with snoring seen as the most bothersome noise overall, with over 61% of people finding it annoying.
Stephen Stansfeld commented: “There is increasing evidence from research that the ubiquitous exposure to environmental noise is bad for our health: not only annoyance and sleep disturbance but also effects on blood pressure and heart disease.
“At the same time the importance of quiet is underestimated. In a busy world, quiet and tranquillity may have beneficial effects on our stress levels and wellbeing. Psychological restoration, through being in quiet surroundings, can relieve annoyance and stress and lead to better overall health.”
So where do Brits escape to for some peace and quiet? The bedroom was the choice for 41%, followed by the garden (20%), and bathroom (17%).