SCIENTISTS have identified the root of the sounds which annoy us most — the neighbours.
Stomping feet and the clatter of dropping objects distress people so much they may cause heart disease.
They were found to be more aggravating than continuous sounds such as music or speech.
Experts arrived at the finding by exposing volunteers sat in a mock living room to various recordings.
They used playback techniques and virtual reality to mix up what people heard.
So-called “impact sounds” from people walking barefoot and objects dropping caused most irritation.
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Markus Mueller-Trapet, from the National Research Council of Canada who did the study, said: “Long-term exposure to such unwanted sounds may potentially lead to cardiovascular problems and sleep disturbance.”
The organisation aims to help create a more liveable environment by providing guidance to architects and builders.
It said the research was pressing as populations are becoming increasingly dense and working from home is more and more common.