Optimal Temperature & Volume Settings for Your Gym

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  • Optimal Temperature & Volume Settings for Your Gym

Gym Music
Keeping members comfortable makes exercise easier!

If you are an owner or operator of a gym facility, I am sure you get daily, if not hourly, requests to turn the temperature down/up or to set the music at a higher/lower volume. It can be difficult to balance all of your member requests and it will be impossible to make all your members happy. The best thing to do is to follow recommended guidelines so that way to can ensure your member base that you are following the rules to ensure their health and safety.

Educate members on appropriate gym clothing

Going to a gym is a great way to lose weight and build muscles. It is one of the healthy living practices to ensure that your body is maintained and fit. Your members attend your fitness facility because they have a desire to stay fit and healthy. As your members utilize your gym, it is important as a gym owner to educate your members to wear comfortable athletic clothing and proper sneakers so they can experience the most effective workout.

Why wear the right gym clothes

  • Improves the efficiency of an overall workout
  • Aides in more flexibility and comfort during a working out
  • Body temperature increases during exercise
  • Wearing shorts and a jersey while working out helps ventilate the body

So what is the ideal temperature for a gym to ensure a good workout?

How hot is too hot for exercise?

It is important for the management of the gym or health club to take time to assess the right temperature for their establishment. Health club temperatures may vary from facility to facility depending on their members’ requests. Gyms have to make sure that it is not too cold or too hot as it will affect their members’ workout. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid down a set of rules and guidelines for workplaces to ensure that proper safety and health standards are followed.

OSHA temperature recommendations

OSHA gives a general recommendation for workplace temperature ranges to fall between 68-74 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels to range between 20-60%.[i] Since these are pretty broad ranges, the International Fitness Association (IFA) developed more direction from the ranges recommended from both OSHA and the American College of Sports Medicine. IFA recommends that that gyms that provide aerobics, weight training, cardio, and Pilates should have an average temperature of 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celsius). The gym should also have a humidity level between 40% and 60% for these activities..[ii]

Ideal health club music volume levels

Listening to music is considered a good workout habit as it has a lot of advantages which many people may not initially realize. Many gyms prefer to play music in the background to increase the productivity of the members when they are training. The reason why these gyms do this is because music helps to stimulate and motivate the members to work harder. It is also helpful in tuning out any distractions around the members such as traffic noise. Additionally, it helps to instill positive moods in the members and makes them feel better about exercising. Lastly, music helps to relax the mind of the individual.

The EPA recommendations for proper noise levels in health clubs.

EPA workplace noise regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set regulations to ensure that proper noise levels are maintained by workplaces which also include gyms and health clubs. These guidelines are required to be fulfilled by gym instructors so as to reduce the amount of noise pollution in the environment. For example, the standard safe volume level for a member working out in your gym for 45 minutes is 85db, which is ideal for a person who is working out for 45 minutes to an hour. For more specific levels based on time exposure, the IFA breaks it down in an easy to ready table format.

Another concern is the combined noise level for members that bring their own music listening devices. If a member is listening to their iPod or Smartphone while working out, the ideal noise level should not cross 91db which is about 3/4th the maximum volume on your device.[iii] The reason behind this is that it could lead to a risk is hearing loss and louder music can distract you and can reduce your body’s response time.

How loud should gyms play music? Ask members!

Logically, there is another concern in this area. It is more likely that a member listening to their music device in an already noisy environment, is more likely to increase the volume of their device to drown out the other noises. One way to ensure the overall health and safety of your member body is to ask for feedback through questionnaires or surveys. If your results reveal that your member base is in fact turning up the volume on their own devices to drown out your gym’s music, then you know you need to turn down your volume.

Topics for discussion:

  • How do you deal with member requests/complaints about temperature and/or noise levels?

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This blog originally ran Aug. 15, 2013. It has been updated Jan. 20, 2021