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School Health Research Library

We have curated a library of peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world published since 2016, focusing on the school built environment and occupant health and performance. This research builds on the 2017 Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success report released by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that synthesizes foundational research about school indoor environmental quality impacts on students and staff.

To help translate this research into action in schools, we have compiled School Health Research Highlights to help school staff and leaders access key findings and actionable strategies on priority topics.

Displaying 21 - 30 of 284 | Export entire research library

Myopia and daylight in schools: a neglected aspect of public health?

Hobday, R

Recent research strongly suggests that the amount of light children get as they grow determines whether they will develop short sight; however, evidence that daylight in classrooms prevents myopia is lacking. Given the rapid increase in prevalence…

Keywords: School design, Myopia, Rickets, Vitamin D, Daylight


Relevant work factors associated with voice disorders in early childhood teachers: A comparison between kindergarten and elementary school teachers in Yangchen, China

Tao, Yaping

Our results indicated, based on the Voice Handicap Index scale (VHI-10, China), that the prevalence of voice disorders in early childhood teachers was 59.7%, while that in elementary school teachers (65.5%) was significantly higher than that in…

Keywords: Vocal load, Network questionnaire, Voice handicap index, Daily class hours, Types of voice usage


Cafeteria noise exposure and fruit and vegetable consumption at school lunch: A cross-sectional study of elementary students

Graziose, Matthew

Combined FV consumption was negatively associated with noise exposure (B = -0.017; SE = 0.004; P < 0.001) in hierarchical linear models. Among young children eating in cafeterias, increased noise levels may decrease consumption of fruits and…

Keywords: Noise, Fruit, Vegetable, School lunch, Children, Cafeteria


Survey of teen noise exposure and efforts to protect hearing at school - United States, 2020

Eichwald, John

This study suggests that approximately three in four students are exposed to loud sounds at school with nearly one
half (46.5%) exposed on a routine basis. Among the students
reporting exposure (73.6% of all respondents), 85.9% reported…



Perceived listening difficulty in the classroom, not measured noise levels, is associated with fatigue in children with and without hearing loss

Gustafson, Samatha

Higher perceived listening difficulty was the only
predictor variable that was associated with greater self-
reported fatigue.



Classroom acoustics as a consideration for inclusive education in South Africa

Reenen, Coralie

Noise is disadvantageous for learners, particularly those with sensory, language or
learning impairments. Research and international guidelines show that the ideal ambient level
is 30 dBA – 35 dBA, allowing the achievement of an ideal…



Children's effortful control skills, but not their prosocial skills, relate to their reactions to classroom noise

Jessica Massonie

Prosocial skills
were not related to children’s reactions to noise. However, children with lower effortful control skills
reported more negative reactions to classroom noise. Given the importance of effortful control skills

Keywords: Noise, Noise sensitivity, Health, Children, Classrooms, Attention, Distraction, Annoyance, Temperament, Prosocial skills


Associations between road traffic noise exposure at home and school and ADHD in school-aged children: The TRAILS study

Zijlema, W.L.

No clear exposure response relationship was observed for associations between residential or school noise and ADHD symptom severity. We found no evidence for a harmful association between road traffic noise and ADHD. Associations between noise and…

Keywords: Attention defcit/hyperactivity disorder, Road traffic noise, Adolescents, Child health, Cross-sectional study


The effect of noise on attention and performance in reading and writing tasks

Fernandes, Renata

The higher the score on the Sustained Attention Test, the shorter the time spent reading
and fewer errors in the dictation task. There were no differences across the three grades within the GEA (lower
levels of noise) with regard to the…

Keywords: Attention, Handwriting, Learning, Noise, Reading


Impact of noise-attenuating headphones on participation in the home, community, and school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Pfieffer, Beth

Participants identified that the use of noise-attenuat-
ing headphones increased participation in home, community, and
school settings. Barriers and benefits were identified for both around-
ear and in-ear headphones.…

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Barriers, Benefits, Headphones, Noise attenuation, Participation