If there's one place where indoor air quality (IAQ) needs to be perfectly maintained, it's gyms. Even though it is common for these environments to be packed with air conditioning and heating systems, any problems or issues can lead to an uncomfortable and unpleasant environment for members using these facilities.
This has been highlighted in a study of the air quality centred around 11 gyms around Lisbon, Portugal. Researchers from the University of Lisbon and Technical University of Draft in the Netherlands tested and analysed the results and found a concerning level of indoor air pollutants in each environment.
The researchers tested for carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, along with dust particles and chemicals such as formaldehyde. They discovered that when gyms were the busiest (during afternoon and evening hours), the air pollutants were highest and there was more pressure on air quality systems.
Researchers noted that gyms exceeded Portuguese limits for carbon dioxide and other chemicals in the environment.
Poor indoor air quality is a potential problem for any building that people frequent regularly. But with gyms, this problem is exacerbated as people are more likely to breathe more heavily and ventilation systems need to be able to work efficiently to flush out any unwanted gasses or chemicals.
"When we exercise, we take in more air with each breath and most of that air goes through the mouth, bypassing the natural filtration system," said Carla Ramos, the lead author of the paper.
"The pollutants go deeper into the lungs compared to resting situations."
What are the problems associated with high gas levels?
Gasses such as carbon dioxide only pose a major health risk above certain levels, but even slightly above the average readings can affect humans. Symptoms include the quicker onset of fatigue and the feeling that the air is thicker and harder to breathe. Poor air quality can also lead to the development of asthma and other respiratory issues over time.
Options for professionalsThe task of air quality monitoring is one that is usually left to the operators of a facility, rather than any official authoritative governing body. There are a number of options available for indoor air quality monitoring and maintenance. One suggestion would be a multifunctional instrument capable of detecting a range of parameters including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and humidity. Testo has a range of IAQ monitoring tools available. Don't hesitate to get in contact with e experts at Testo NZ for advice and recommendations on the best solutions for IAQ monitoring.