No matter how you’re sweating — spinning, strength-building or sculpting — instructors aren’t afraid to crank the music. We get it, music builds intensity and gives participants an energy boost. But if any message should be loud and clear, it should be that those loud decibels are no friend to your ears.
So, we wanted to see just how loud group fitness got. Our social media manager, Hanna, attended three group fitness classes, installed a decibel reader on her phone and brought it to each class. Keep in mind that the mics on smartphones usually cancel out background noise — a feature that helps phone call quality but can prevent these apps from picking up bass — meaning that the volume was probably much higher than what her phone could pick up.
Here’s what she found.
Most group fitness classes turn up the volume to levels around 95 decibels or more and last for 45-75 minutes. The EPA states that long or repeated exposure to sound above 85dB can cause hearing loss, and that it is "not a safe noise exposure level for the public.” We workout to stay healthy, not to expose ourselves to health hazards, like unsafe sound. Most folks don’t realize that hearing loss isn’t simply a result of aging; it’s possible to lose your hearing from loud environments. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) occurs gradually, and extended exposure to loud sound will accelerate hearing loss, regardless of how old you are. Bottom line? The best way to enjoy your favorite group fitness classes without risking hearing loss is to wear high fidelity earplugs. With Vibes, you’ll hear the music, instructor and your workout buddy clearly — just at a lower volume. Additionally, Vibes' clear design keeps you incognito, and our pocket-sized carrying case makes storage in your favorite hoodie or gym bag a piece of cake.