Health Concerns at the Gym?

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 7:47 PM


For most Americans going to the gym is done in a effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle but can this being bad for your health? Surprisingly, the simple answer is yes. The main reason for this being is that gyms experience a high concentration of indoor air pollution. One cause of indoor air pollution in gyms would be from mold. Mold in gyms can be common in gyms because of the moisture in the air stemming from things like the sauna, the showers, and from sweat. Breathing in mold found in gyms can lead to a large range of negative health effects including cough, asthma, pneumonia, and infections in the lungs. Also, researchers from the University of Lisbon and the Delft University of Technology experimented by putting air-quality monitoring equipment in gyms throughout Lisbon. Their findings showed high levels of airborne dust, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide, all of which exceeded most accepted standards of indoor air quality. The tests showed that the indoor air was at its worst during peak hours and during aerobics and cycling classes where people exhale large amounts of carbon dioxide with every breath. High levels of formaldehyde can lead to asthma and respiratory problems and high levels of carbon dioxide can lead to bodily fatigue and cognitive fogginess. Considering mold and the high levels of airborne dust, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide a visit to the gym could potentially make you weaker. The best way to avoid this is to work out outside if at all possible. Another way is to talk to your gym and ask them about their ventilation and cleanliness level. 

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