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Keeping Sports Centres at the Optimum Temperature

by Amy Hodgetts(more info)

listed in exercise and fitness, originally published in issue 253 - April 2019

A comfortable temperature is important in any building, but in leisure centres and gyms, it is of particular importance. With customers already working up a sweat, it’s vital that they aren’t in an environment where they could overheat and become ill or injured as a result. On the other hand, being in a room that is too cold can also have a detrimental impact on their workout.

In that case, what is the best temperature that a sports centre should maintain? HVAC suppliers Daikin investigate further…

 

Hodgetts 253 Sports Centres at Optimum Temperature

 

Responsibilities

Firstly, it’s important to understand temperature-based legislation. According to Health and Safety Executive, there are no regulations in place that deal specifically with gym or leisure centre temperatures, but normal health and safety legislation covers the vast majority of other safety requirements at the gym.

From this, we can figure out the optimum temperature based on the minimum workplace temperature requirements. The Approved Code of Practice recommends 16°C as the base level for a workplace, with work requiring "rigorous physical effort" at 13°C. Again, this isn't a legal requirement, but it gives an idea of what an optimum temperature is for comfortably engaging in physical activity.

As a guide, Sports England have released their advice on the correct temperatures gyms and leisure centres should aim for:

  • Fitness Gym – 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 64°F) in the summer, with “comfort cooling” as needed.
  • Studios – 18°C (64°F), with a slight summer rise acceptable.

How High Temperatures can Harm Gym-Goers

Trying to work out in an overheated room is an uncomfortable experience. Plus, it’s a risky activity; dehydration and heat stroke are notable risks of working out in an overheated gym. But even just sweating too much can be a problem. We Be Fit notes that while over-sweating can cause gym-goers to notice an extra pound of weight loss at the end of their workout, the weight lost is fluids from sweating and will be negated with a drink. The article suggests that working out in an overheated gym for a long period can result in a 50% less effective workout! All that sweating for nothing.

How Low Temperatures can Harm Gym-Goers

Though too-cold gyms are less common than overheated gyms, there are still problems and risks with chilly rooms. My Inner Go looked at the pros and cons of working out in a cold environment and found that chilly temperatures brought with it a higher risk of injury. This is because muscles tend to seize up in the cold (which is why warming up before physical activity is so important). The website offered a great analogy for cold muscles: consider them like Play-Doh! When Play-Doh gets cold, it goes stiff and doesn’t stretch, it just snaps. But warm Play-Doh is stretchy and flexible.

Keeping Rooms Just Right

Temperature maintenance requires an observation of all rooms in the gym or leisure centre. Investing in an efficient, responsive air conditioning system will help regulate a comfortable temperature within the building, with units in Daikin's air conditioning range offering low energy consumption models to fit your carbon emission targets.

To achieve the best possible workout, it’s important to keep gym spaces comfortable. Keeping a good temperature through a facility will ensure customers stay happy and are more likely to keep coming back. If the gym starts to get a reputation for being freezing cold or too stuffy, gym goers will quickly turn to other establishments.

Sources

https://www.livestrong.com/article/532219-how-to-drop-your-core-temperature/

https://www.myinnergo.co.uk/blogs/news/17054672-how-does-temperature-affect-training

http://www.webefit.com/articles_400-499/article_406_GymTemp.html

https://www.sportengland.org/media/4203/fitness-and-exercise-spaces.pdf

http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/law.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l24.htm

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About Amy Hodgetts

Amy Hodgetts is a copywriter for Mediaworks, a digital marketing agency. A content writer and web content optimiser, Ms Hodgetts has built a strong foundation in writing as a graduate from the University of Glasgow, with an undergraduate MA (Hons) in English Language. Her main areas of focus for her degree course were semantics, pragmatics, and language change throughout history.  She may be contacted via Mediaworks  https://www.mediaworks.co.uk/

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