Exercise is healthy, but the noise you are likely to encounter in the exercise studio is not. Often, the noise level is dangerous during fitness sessions because of loud music. This may result in loss of hearing.
The noise levels during spinning classes in a number of fitness centers in the United States were recorded by researchers from George Mason University in Virginia. Typically, the noise levels recorded were 100-110 dB, which is 30-40 dB above maximum levels recommended by the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Guidelines for safe music volume
ACE, a professional organization for aerobics instructors, issued guidelines for safe music volume in fitness settings, recommending that the noise level be no higher than 70-80 dB during aerobics classes. These guidelines, however, are rarely adhered to.
Confronted by George Mason University researchers about the excessive noise level recordings, the fitness instructors offered a variety of explanations. Some said that spinning participants demanded that the music be loud. Others claimed that it is impossible to get the pulse rates up without loud music.
An earlier Swedish survey confirmed that fitness centers can be extremely loud, often exceeding 85 dB. This survey was carried out at 32 fitness centers by two researchers from the Swedish Institute of Working Life.
Sources: George Mason University - www.physics.gmu.edu/faculty_staff/exercise.html; Survey: Bystroem and Landstroem: Temporaer hoerselnedsaettning i samband med fysisk anstraengning och exponering foer buller/music, 1999, Arbetslivsinstituttets Foerlaegstjaenst