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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1303; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111303

Exploring Perception of Vibrations from Rail: An Interview Study

1
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Box 414, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
2
Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Lund University, Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transportation and Health)
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Abstract

Rail transport is an environmentally responsible approach and traffic is expected to increase in the coming decades. Little is known about the implications for quality of life of populations living close to railways. This study explores the way in which vibrations from rail are perceived and described by these populations. The study took place in the Västra Götaland and Värmland regions of Sweden. A qualitative study approach was undertaken using semi-structured interviews within a framework of predetermined questions in participants’ homes. A 26.3% response rate was achieved and 17 participants were interviewed. The experience of vibrations was described in tangible terms through different senses. Important emerging themes included habituation to and acceptance of vibrations, worry about property damage, worry about family members and general safety. Participants did not reflect on health effects, however, chronic exposure to vibrations through multimodal senses in individual living environments may reduce the possibility for restoration in the home. Lack of empowerment to reduce exposure to vibrations was important. This may alter individual coping strategies, as taking actions to avoid the stressor is not possible. The adoption of other strategies, such as avoidance, may negatively affect an individual’s ability to cope with the stressor and their health. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable transport; public health; quality of life; rail vibrations; annoyance sustainable transport; public health; quality of life; rail vibrations; annoyance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Maclachlan, L.; Waye, K.P.; Pedersen, E. Exploring Perception of Vibrations from Rail: An Interview Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1303.

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