Impact noise and vibration sources induced by heavy gym activities: do they in turn unnecessarily, indirectly affect our health?

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Abstract

‘Good health and wellbeing’ is one of the key United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs). By ensuring healthy lives and promoting positive wellbeing, physical and mental activities have been encouraged for all at all ages. In recent decades, fitness culture and industry has significantly grown in many countries to enhance healthy lives and positive wellbeing. With the vigorous development of the fitness industry, a gym has become one of the common facilities within a neighborhood or on a campus in order to promote more and more people to participate in fitness activities. At the same time, the rapid increase in gym construction also provides more employment opportunities for professional fitness coaches. On the other hand, excessive noises and vibrations stemming from certain heavy gym activities can be observed. Accordingly, the NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss) in a gym should receive more attention. According to critical literature reviews, the high-intensity noise in gyms is mainly caused by the drops of heavy steel bars or dumbbells. Today, most gyms adopt cushioned flooring in specific areas, but the effectiveness of noise suppression still needs to be evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of hearing loss caused by noise doses in a gym. Noises derived from heavy gym sources (i.e., lifting of heavy weights) were monitored and collected for analyses in order to estimate the risk of NIHL in a traditional gym, as well as to assess the measurements against the authoritative criteria to derive some technical guidelines for fitness and gym managers. The outcome of this study will improve insights into acoustic monitoring techniques and practical management within a gym environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11812
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • gym activity
  • fitness
  • health
  • wellbeing
  • noise monitoring
  • crowdsourcing sensor
  • noise-induced hearing
  • acoustic management

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