Measuring air quality in fitness centers and gyms is a fundamental aspect of indoor physical activity. How to monitor it correctly is essential in a sports center where, throughout the day, hundreds of people use its facilities, generate sweat and inhale and exhale thousands of liters of air.
During the period of greatest incidence of COVID-19, the use of CO2 meters was popularized, erroneously associating this gas as a reference parameter for measuring air quality.
In this article we will explain what is taken into account to measure indoor air quality in a sports center, why it is important and how it is measured.
5 reasons why it is important to measure air quality in fitness centers
To ensure indoor air quality, it must be monitored. This directly influences sports performance together with thermal comfort and both variables, in addition to influencing sports practice, determine whether a gym has minimum conditions of environmental comfort.
Indoor vs outdoor physical activity
Better indoors than outdoors? A gym will be able to guarantee that it is a safe space with respect to outdoor pollution for sports practice, as long as the indoor air quality is properly monitored.
Cities are highly polluted with gases from vehicle combustion or from nearby industries or airport infrastructures that are sources of particulate matter, CO, NO2, H2S, among other substances.
Outdoor air is not filterable. Therefore, an enclosed space such as a gym or a sports center should take advantage of its ability to measure and act on air quality and attract athletes who would not have this advantage when exercising outdoors.
It is key to measure the indoor air quality to be able to act on it in addition to activating air renewal or air conditioning systems only when required if we also want to ensure energy efficiency.
Air volume during sports performance
The air volume of a space is constant, it is necessary to maximize oxygen to promote body activity, both cerebral and muscular, and thus avoid fatigue. For this we need to know the presence of other gases such as CO or CO2, which cause a lower concentration of O2, vital for people who practice sports, since during physical activity the air requirements are higher. Air quality is one of the aspects that directly affects sports performance.
Air quality and environmental comfort indicators
Air quality in gyms or sports centers and, in general, in any indoor environment is determined by the parameters in the following image.
Sports facilities contain high concentrations of suspended particles (dust, aerosols…) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Both pollutants are inhaled by the user and reach the lungs and can cause itchy throat, nose and eyes during physical activity. Prolonged exposure can even lead to the onset of more serious respiratory diseases and pathologies. Measuring this type of parameter allows us to identify deficiencies in ventilation procedures or if ventilation is being used inefficiently.
High CO2 concentration coupled with the above can cause headache, fatigue, dizziness and even nausea. CO2 is not a sufficient indicator to ensure indoor air quality but it is a necessary one.
During aerobic or anaerobic exercise, the user needs optimal hygrothermal conditions in order to maximize his effort and not be adversely affected by excessive temperature or humidity during training.
The ideal temperature for sports practice should be between 20º and 22º.
Derived from an excess of humidity, the users will begin to feel the air very charged and it is even one of the causes that generate unpleasant odors in a sports facility.
Being able to guarantee and measure air quality in gyms is an important differentiation from other sports centers that do not take care of this aspect. Measuring air quality on a continuous basis allows us to act in a timely manner before the user can perceive any of the problems described in this document.
How to measure air quality in gyms based on all these parameters
Nanoenvi IAQ is an easy to install Wifi device that requires no maintenance and whose function is to measure the parameters that determine the air quality in an indoor space reliably in order to improve air renewal.
The sensor sends data in real time and has an alert system to correct the situation. The gym staff will be notified through this alert system whenever an area has air quality problems or hygrothermal deficiencies.