The Truth About A Gym’s Indoor Air QualityEvery morning, you open the door to your gym. You clean the equipment, the floors, the bathrooms, and the counters. You provide sanitizer and encourage people to clean up after themselves. The gym staff works hard to provide a clean environment where people can work on their health and fitness. But what if we told you your biggest enemy in that endeavor is your gym’s indoor air quality?
An alarming number of gyms have extremely poor indoor air quality. What this means is that a person’s lungs have to work harder to bring in enough oxygen. As someone is working out, their body already needs more oxygen. This strain on the lungs can make exercise less effective and damage lungs over time.
The bad news is that these problems often exist because of the nature of gyms and their infrastructure. The good news is that it is possible to fix. But we first have to understand what exactly defines good air quality.
What Makes Your Gym’s Indoor Air Quality “Good”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) measures air quality on the Air Quality Index (AQI). This metric runs from 0 to 500, with 0 representing perfectly clean air and 500 indicating extremely hazardous air. Anything above 300 is considered hazardous to human health, though.
|Daily AQI Color||Levels of Concern||Values of Index||Description of Air Quality|
|Green||Good||0 to 50||Air pollution poses little or no risk.|
|Yellow||Moderate||51 to 100||At this level, the air quality is considered acceptable, but individuals with air sensitivity, such as asthma, are at a higher risk.|
|Orange||Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||101 to 150||Unfortunately, at this level, at-risk groups of people might experience direct health effects. But the general public most likely won’t notice.|
|Red||Unhealthy||151 to 200||This level of air quality is considered unhealthy for everyone. The general public might start to experience health effects. At-risk individuals are at a higher risk for more serious health complications.|
|Purple||Very Unhealthy||201 to 300||At this level, everyone is at risk for health complications.|
|Maroon||Hazardous||301 and higher||This is considered emergent air quality. Everyone is at risk for health complications.|
The EPA considers 5 major air pollutants:
- ground-level ozone
- particle pollution (particulate matter)
- carbon monoxide
- sulfur dioxide
- nitrogen dioxide
The more pollutants present, the poorer the air quality is. Breathing this polluted air can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases, decrease your lungs’ capacity, lung function, and more.
We often think of air pollution as only outdoors. When the air is bad, we stay inside, right? While this can help, we still often see poor air quality indoors, too. This is especially true in spaces where there are heavy concentrations of people breathing heavily.
What We See Too Often In A Gym’s Indoor Air Quality
The journal Building and Environment conducted a study that showed fitness centers contain high levels of dangerous air pollutants. Certain pollutants, specifically carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOC), presented in concentrations that exceeded national limits.
While this study was conducted in other countries, they found the fitness centers to be similar to those in the United States. But there is no governing agency in the United States that monitors air quality in gyms.
Why Do Gyms Suffer From Poor Indoor Air Quality
So why exactly do we see such poor air quality in gyms? There are a number of reasons. The Building and Environment study cites the importance of optimizing HVAC and ventilation. While this is very valid, for many gyms, it is not a possibility.
Ventilation and HVAC systems are often parts of the infrastructure of a building. Updating them is incredibly expensive and only possible if the gym owns the building.
Unfortunately, gyms are known for having poor ventilation. But, on top of that, we often introduce pollutants into gyms without even thinking about it.
Many cleaning supplies use VOCs. As we try to keep gyms clean on the surface, we dirty the air with VOCs and don’t even realize it.
Beyond that, the very nature of gyms lends itself to poor air quality. Humans are sweating and shedding skin particles into the air. They are also breathing heavier.
To create energy, cells go through something called cellular respiration. During cellular respiration, cells take in food and oxygen and break it down into usable energy. The byproduct is carbon dioxide. So as humans are creating more energy, they not only require more oxygen (which is harder to get in unclean air) but they also dispel more carbon dioxide.
This is a major pollutant in gyms and harms air quality.
How Can You Improve Your Gym’s Indoor Air Quality
There are a number of ways you can improve your gym’s indoor air quality. You could spend tens of thousands of dollars on updating your ventilation systems. You could keep doors and windows open. Or you could go with a much simpler, more affordable solution that is just as powerful…
Invest in a cleanroom-grade air purifier.
What would this mean for you?
It would mean improved results from your members’ efforts, which leads to higher retention and more referrals. It would mean improved health for your members and fewer potential health risks. It would mean setting your gym apart from others as a premier facility.
And it’s as simple as plugging in an air filter.
The Filtr Revolution uses a cleanroom-grade HEPA filter that has a total system efficiency of 99.995% with a removal efficiency of 99.78% for particles 0.023 microns. Basically, this means that this air filter will leave your air extremely clean.
So is the Revolution right for you? Let us know if you want to see exactly what the Revolution can do in your space by contacting us today.