Let’s be honest, gyms are not always the cleanest of environments. Busy, high-traffic areas, lots of people puffing and panting, all that sweat. You won’t be the only person wanting to clean the equipment before you use it. But have you ever stopped to consider your gym’s air quality and how that could impact your health, the health of your members, and their workout quality?
The arrival of COVID-19 has shone a light on air quality like never before. We know the main method of transmission for the virus is airborne. Tiny particles of the virus are released into the surrounding environment when an infected person coughs, sneezes and talks. This means any indoor space where we share the air with others is a potential risk. And what we’re doing at the gym adds to this risk. Puffing and panting our way through a workout makes it easier for COVID-19 and other colds and viruses to spread
One study from scientists in Portugal looked at pollutants in a number of gymnasiums in Lisbon, Portugal. The team measured levels of PM10, PM2.5, CO2, CO, CH2O (formaldehyde), and VOCs and found that VOCs and formaldehyde were above safe limits when the gym was in use.
Several materials commonly found in gyms can emit VOCs and formaldehyde into the air. Gym equipment, plastics, carpeting and flooring, furnishing, particle boards, chemicals, and cleaners are all potential sources of indoor air pollution.
Exposure to VOCs and formaldehyde can result in a wide range of symptoms, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and skin problems. Higher concentrations may irritate the lungs, as well as cause damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system.
In independent tests carried out by New York Times Wirecutter Magazine, Austin Air was the only air purifier to effectively remove VOCs from the environment.
As well as the risks associated with VOCs, during intense exercise, our bodies need a high volume of oxygen to achieve maximum performance. This is also true after our workout when the body repairs and rebuilds new and stronger muscle fibers. Poor air quality can impact lung function and disrupt how oxygen is used in our bodies during and after training. To get the very most out of your workout and recovery, clean air, free from contaminants, is a must.
Advice from the CDC, WHO, and EPA is clear: to minimize the spread of airborne viruses like COVID-19, in indoor spaces, portable HEPA air purifiers are recommended. In fact, an extensive review by the EPA concluded the combination of HEPA and Carbon is the safest and most effective solution. Purifiers that use UV lights, Ionization, and PCO technology are not ideal because they can produce dangerous byproducts that are then emitted into the air
All of our units use the highest quality Medical Grade HEPA and carbon blend to effectively filter a wide range of contaminants, including chemicals and VOCs, allergens, dust, viruses, and bacteria. Our extended filter life (lasting up to five years) combined with our durable steel casing make Austin Air Purifiers the number one choice in all public spaces. No maintenance, no costly filter changes. Just plug it in and let it run 24/7.
Austin air Athlete, Sloane Stephens, Professional Women's Tennis Champion
Our involvement in clinical trials started in 2001 when we were selected by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the country’s number one children’s hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, to take part in a clinical trial to improve children’s asthma symptoms and reduce visits to the ER .Since then we have been involved in a number of trials, working with some of the country's leading institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the University of Washington. The results of these trials confirm what we have known for many years. Running an Austin Air purifier removes a wide range of airborne pollutants and will help to improve respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD. If you would like to read more about our clinical trials, learn more here.
According to an EPA report, a significant amount of HEPA and Carbon must be used in your air purifier’s filtration otherwise filters will need to be changed often (every few months), which could be costly. That’s why the Austin Air HealthMate Plus has:
60 sq. ft. of True Medical Grade HEPA proven to remove 99% of all virus particles larger than 0.1 microns.
Over 780 cubic inches of Activated Carbon and Zeolite. Removes chemicals, gases, and odors
No one in the industry even comes close to using that much. This ensures a long filter life of up to 5 years.
“That’s the impact of Austin.”
Dr. Fine NMD, FAAEM is a licensed and board-certified naturopathic physician with a focus in Environmental Medicine. She is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, physician, and founding educator at Environmental Medicine Education International.