Teachers, especially women, strain voices

Oct. 28, 2009 at 2:06 AM

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say teachers are 32 times more likely than others to experience voice problems.

The study equipped teachers with a voice dosimeter -- a device which captures voicing characteristics such as pitch and loudness rather than actual speech.

The dosimeter sampled the teachers' voices 33 times per second. The researchers analyzed 20 million of these samplings collected during waking hours over a 14-day period for each teacher.

The researchers found female teachers used their voices about 10 percent more than males when teaching and 7 percent more when not teaching. They also found female teachers spoke more loudly than male teachers.

"These results may indicate an underlying reason for female teachers' increased voice problems," study leader Eric Hunter of Denver's National Center for Voice and Speech said in a statement.

Hunter is scheduled to present findings at a meeting this week of the Acoustical Society of America in San Antonio.

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