Occupant noise exposure in a fitness classroom setting



Fitness facilities characteristically place an emphasis on the health and wellness of their occupants. Very loud amplified speech and music in group fitness rooms creates energetic spaces at the expense of the health and wellness of our hearing organs. The authors measured spectral sound pressure levels from fitness programs and occupants in over 40 group fitness classes (cycling, yoga, strength training, and other types) at facilities throughout the USA. Measurements occurred continuously throughout the entire duration of the classes. Variables measured include class type, loudspeaker position and type, time of day, day of the week, fitness class instructor, number of occupants, and the athletic club where the classroom is located. This paper discusses the overall findings from these noise surveys with an emphasis on noise exposure and typical frequency spectra for various fitness classes. This paper also includes a discussion of noise management and recommendations for best management practices to help achieve energetic spaces that are protective of health and wellness of hearing organs.