How likely is the spread of Covid disease in gyms?

The researchers first measured the particles’ output while they were sitting, then as they pedaled at an increasingly demanding pace until they eventually became too tired to keep up. Particles were counted all the time.

Scientists expected that the aerosol production in athletes would increase with increasing intensity. We all breathe deeper and faster when we ramp up our exercise. The rate of increase “surprised us,” said Henning Wackerhag, professor of exercise biology at the Technical University of Munich and lead author of the new study.

The increase in aerosol emissions started modestly as cyclists warmed up and started pedaling more aggressively. But when they got to the point where the exercise became noticeably more difficult — at the time jogging turns into a class or jogging Rotation Changes at intervals – the increase in emissions was exponential. Cyclists began expelling about 10 times more air per minute than at rest, while the number of particles per minute increased more than 100 times as cyclists approached exhaustion (which varies greatly from person to person).

In a room full of cyclists from RotationTreadmill runners or endurance athletes, “will increase the concentration of aerosol particles a lot,” says Benedict Mach, a graduate student at the Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics at the University of the German Armed Forces in Munich and co-author of a study book. The higher the number of particles, the more likely you are to transmit COVID-19 infection if any of your exercisers are infected.

“The study provides mechanistic data that support the hypothesis that indoor exercise is a higher risk activity for COVID-19 transmission” than outdoor exercise, said Lynsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and an expert in airborne virus transmission. .

But these risks can be mitigated. “Good ventilation and air exchange is a great way to reduce the risk of transmission,” said Chris Kappa, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis, and expert in airflow dynamics.

“Open windows, especially with fans, can often be just as effective as active ventilation systems,” he said. If your gym windows are closed, ask the administrator to open them wide and turn on the fans in full blast. If the weather is harsh and air conditioning is required, make sure the equipment draws air in from the outside so that a new source replaces the aerosol-laden air that you and your teammates exhale.

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