Exercise is good! It makes us feel better, rest more completely, and fit into that killer suit. So, I was a bit surprised when I saw a headline about exercise being bad for hearing health. And since I hate to exercise, I thought I’d look into and see if I had a ready excuse. Turns out I don’t.
Noise is bad for hearing health and gyms have noise in them. People wear earphones for their music. Most people don’t even think about the abuse their ears get at the gym. Music has been proven to motivate people toward a more consistent exercise routine. Loud, pumping music really gets a body moving.
OSHA says anything louder than 85dB is call for hearing protection. But, how loud is that, really? A quiet room has a noise floor of about 40dB. Add normal conversational speech and it hits about 60dB. A crowded school cafeteria can reach 80dB. Turn on the music so it can be heard over the ruckus and we are in the danger zone where hearing is concerned.
A study conducted at the University of Louisville demonstrated that even with warnings placed on the exercise equipment cautioning against exposure to loud music during a workout, participants still turned the volume to “10” on the head sets. And that’s how exercise is bad for your hearing.
Exercise is good. Music is good. Exercising to music is good. Please be responsible and share this bit of wisdom with your work out buddies: “Turn it to the left. Keep the volume reasonable.” Next time you go to the gym, look for a warning about excessive volume. If you see one, let us know where. I’d like to thank them. If you don’t see one, let us know. I’d like to put one up.