The monitoring of the indoor climate of a gym can play a fundamental role in the protection of our health and potential COVID-19 transmission. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) monitors are a great metric that informs us how frequently the air in the gym is exchanged.
This is particularly important during a pandemic such as COVID-19, being able to monitor the air exchange allows us to monitor CO2 and the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission. If a gym’s CO2 levels are low then the air exchange is good, which results in a low risk of COVID-19 transmission.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), reported that COVID-19 can linger in the open air for hours. In gyms specifically, there can be high levels of CO2 in the air as people are working out and exerting themselves. This has the potential to raise the levels of CO2 in the air which is harmful and increase the risk to viruses like COVID-19.
Some gyms have now taken the initiative and installed CO2 monitors at their gym locations to protect the health and safety of their clients.
At Function Health Club, we are a gym that values the health and wellbeing of our members, by installing CO2 monitors in our gym locations in Vancouver and Port Coquitlam!
So let’s take a deeper look into CO2 monitors and how they can benefit regular gym members in attendance.
What Does A CO2 Monitor Do?
Carbon dioxide is a dangerous gas that can be fatal if it builds up in any small space such as a gym. If you breathe too much of it in, you can experience headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness leading to further health conditions.
Carbon dioxide monitors detect the level of CO2 in the air, and work very similar to a fire alarm to alert once these levels increase to an unhealthy level. As soon as the CO2 level increases, it sounds off the alarm alerting people in the room. This is particularly important to help monitor the CO2 levels and the potential risk of COVID-19, to help maintain a healthy flow of air in the gym whilst members workout. By monitoring the levels of CO2 in the air, we get an excellent proxy for how much “breath” is impacting the air cleanliness.
Let’s take a look at some of the main ways COVID-19 can actually be transmitted between people but specifically in a gym environment.
This transmission occurs when someone with a positive COVID-19 touches some type of gym equipment, and within 1 hour, another gym member would touch the same equipment followed by touching their own mouth, eyes, or nostrils. This transmission possibility of COVID-19 is extremely low, as there is no real evidence or scientific studies to show effective fomite transmission.
Ballistic Droplet Transmission
Saliva droplets can spread from one person to another in the gym through sneezing, coughing, and talking. The transmission of COVID-19 through this method is low but these droplets can land on the eyes, in the mouth, or even the nostrils. To reduce the risk of this transmission, we should abide by social distancing rules and wear masks in the gym where necessary. The ballistic droplet transmission in most cases can only occur when these droplets fall within 3- 6 feet, by keeping to social distance rules in the gym your risk of transmission is very low.
In the gym and other confined indoor spaces, aerosol transmission has the highest risk level for the transmission of COVID-19. This transmission method is when droplets from an infected person exhale through talking or yelling that then remain airborne and are inhaled by someone else through the nose or mouth.
Evidence has suggested that this is the primary method of the transmission of COVID-19. In any gym location where the space is confined this can have increased effects on members becoming infected if there is a COVID-19 positive person working out. This infected person would breathe out these droplets that would then saturate the indoor air, putting other gym members at risk to the saturated air within only a few minutes.
If the gym has no ventilation system in place, the COVID-19 virus will stay longer in the air with a higher risk of infecting more people. This is where it is important gyms have an effective CO2 monitor installed, as they are then able to actively monitor the air for CO2 and aerosol levels.
As part of our COVID protocols, we require each member to complete a COVID screening questionnaire prior to entering the gym, and we limit the number of attendees to ensure maximum space.
Benefits of CO2 Monitors
The real benefit of these monitors is that it allows us to help prevent and monitor the spread of any virus in the gym such as COVID-19.
By having these monitors installed, our staff are alerted as soon as CO2 levels start to increase allowing the team to take the required steps to ensure the air is clean and healthy for all our members.
Other benefits to the installation of CO2 monitors in the gym include:
Increased Performance Levels
People who attend the gym workout and break a sweat, giving it their all to increase calorie burn. For many members, this can be extremely difficult if CO2 levels are high in the gym space.
For instance, a CO2 level in the range between 1000 ppm to 2500 ppm is actually known to decrease the performance and productivity rates of all gym members.
If CO2 levels are monitored in the gym, it has the likelihood to increase productivity levels. People working out will be able to benefit from the reduced levels of CO2, allowing them to give it their all and maintain a high level of productivity.
Monitoring the levels of CO2 in the air helps to maintain the level of air ventilation inside the room. Occupancy inside the gym can be unpredictable at times. More people attend during the weekend and then less people attend during the weekdays outside of peak hours. This in some cases can actually lead to over-ventilation and energy inefficiency.
By monitoring the level of CO2 in the air, it will allow for automatic ventilation to take place. As soon as the defined CO2 levels go up beyond a certain level, for instance, 800 ppm, the ventilation system will start and clear the gym air. This again helps to monitor and improve a healthier environment for gym members and gym staff.
Peace of Mind
The first wave of the COVID-19 was tough for everybody and really left people concerned for their safety. As we continue to struggle with the second wave, people really want to ensure they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
As we all try to get our lives back to normal somewhat, it is nice to be reassured that your gym is doing all it can to ensure you’re working out in a healthy environment. By installing CO2 monitors, gym members will have the peace of mind knowing that low C02 levels mean that there is significantly less chance of having COVID19 lurking in the air.
At Function Health Club we are a gym taking these extra precautions and installed CO2 monitors at all our gym locations. Your health and well being is our priority, we want you to feel safe whilst working out as we all look for ways to fight this pandemic.
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If you wish to discuss your training and performance goals directly with one of our personal trainers please contact us today by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.