Run a competition at your local fitness center to motivate people to turn down the volume!
Many people listen to loud music at the gym. Some feel that loud music helps them put in an extra effort. Others listen to loud music to block out background noise from exercise equipment or the music playing at the gym.
Work with your local fitness center to start a fun competition to promote healthy listening behaviors and motivate guests to turn down their music. A ‘hearing coach’ could greet guests at the door and tell them about the chance to win prizes for good listening behavior. Prizes could include concert tickets, earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones.
Brochures and posters at the fitness center could inform visitors about hearing loss and healthy hearing practices. You could also work with the fitness center to arrange meetings where people could learn more about hearing loss from a local professional.
Researchers at George Mason University found that noise levels during spinning classes in a number of fitness centers reached noise levels of 100 - 110 dB. In comparison, a loud rock concert can reach noise levels of 115 - 120 db.
Sustained exposure to such noise can contribute to hearing loss. Professional organizations for aerobics instructors have issued guidelines recommending that noise levels be no higher than 80 db, but these guidelines are rarely followed.
Research published in 2021 by the University of Maryland showed that louder music doesn't necessarily lead to a better workout, finding that people attending spinning classes do not lower the intensity of their workouts when the volume is reduced to a safer decibel level.
People exercise at the gym to get in shape and stay healthy. Members of fitness centers are probably more likely to be concerned about their health and motivated to do something about it.
Many, however, are unaware of the hearing damage that could occur when listening to loud music while exercising. For these reasons, running a hearing health campaign at your local fitness center could help change people's attitudes and behavior.