Hearing Loss and Fitness Classes
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), or hearing loss due to noise exposure affects about 15 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 69. The increase of noise-induced hearing loss among adults has been associated with exposure to occupational as well as non occupational sources of noise.
One of the largest culprits is surprisingly group fitness classes such as Zumba, Yoga, Cycling, etc. Group fitness instructors use music that feature tempos that correspond to the intensity of the exercise class. The music, along with the instructor’s voice, can create an environment in which noise levels can easily exceed the OSHA-recommended exposure limits, 85dB(A), the relative loudness of sounds perceived by the human ear.
The average music levels in health clubs and spas were found to exceed 105dB(A) in 60 minutes and the instructor’s voice averaged about 110dB(A). Noise Levels and participants’ hearing were assessed after a group fitness class, revealing a significant change in hearing thresholds (Beach and Nie, 2014). Participants in the classes observed by Beach and Nie may have been at risk of permanent hearing loss after only a 60-minute class. While being an advocate for a healthy fit lifestyle, it is important to also practice healthy-hearing behaviors.
If you are a group fitness participant:
1. Position yourself away from the music speakers in the exercise room, if possible.
2. Use musicians’ earplugs so that you can protect your hearing and not miss out on the enjoyment of the music in the class.
3. Communicate directly with your fitness instructors the importance of healthy hearing as an element of an overall healthy lifestyle.
4. Get your hearing tested, especially if you have experienced ringing or fullness in your ears for more than 24 hours.
We can help!
Would you like to learn more about how to protect your ears or are struggling from hearing loss? We can help! We, at Landmark Hearing are here to serve you!
Please call us today at (408) 773-9933 or set up an appointment online at http://www.landmarkhearing.com/appointments/.