Noisy neighbours is the ‘most annoying’ sound – how it can affect your health

Scientists have revealed how the sound of neighbours is more ‘annoying’ than any other noise nuisance – and could even cause heart disease.

The clatter of dropping objects and stomping feet are the main cause of complaints in flat blocks, and the distress can affect people’s health.

The National Research Council of Canada found that the sounds made by noisy neighbours were more irritating than continuous sounds such as music and speech.

Participants were placed in a mock living room and exposed to various recordings as part of the study.

Recordings were presented using playback techniques and virtual reality to mix up what people heard.

The so-called ‘impact sounds’ from people walking barefoot and objects dropping caused the most frustration.

Markus Mueller-Trapet, from the research group, said: “Long-term exposure to such unwanted sounds may potentially lead to cardiovascular problems and sleep disturbance.”

The expert believes this research is relevant as populations are growing increasingly dense and working from home is more common.

The council aims to create a more liveable built environment by providing guidance to architects and builders.