Monday, March 02, 2015

WHO want you to turn that music off

At the end of last week, the World Health Organisation issued a warning that you should only listen to an hour of music a day. Actually, that's what the headlines said. The detail was more about being careful how much music you blare straight into your earbits:

Dr Etienne Krug, the WHO's director for injury prevention, told the BBC: "What we're trying to do is raise awareness of an issue that is not talked about enough, but has the potential to do a lot of damage that can be easily prevented."

The full report argued: "While it is important to keep the volume down, limiting the use of personal audio devices to less than one hour a day would do much to reduce noise exposure."

Dr Krug said that a good ambition aim: "That's a rough recommendation, it is not by the minute, to give an idea to those spending 10 hours a day listening to an mp3-player.

"But even an hour can be too much if the volume is too loud."
(I'm sure Dr Krug is well aware that "too loud" is, by definition, that amount which is excessive.)

So the hour is a guideline rather than a prescription. Which is lucky, because they also suggest you only stay at a gig for 28 seconds.

(Admittedly, that's the average length of time that Morrissey plays across the course of any one announced tour, so in his case it's difficult but not impossible.)

They make a more practical suggestion that you should wear hearing protection when you go to see live music.

Hearing protection at a gig! That'd be like, I dunno, wearing a condom when you have sex with a stranger or something... Oh. Hang on.

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