soundear proper sound levels for fitness and indoor cycling studios

Does your club or studio have a way to measure the volume level of the music you and the other Instructors are playing? I want to say that there's a sound meter floating around Life Time, but I've never used it... we do offer members free ear plugs ūüôā

What got me thinking about this (beyond frequent complaints; "are you listing?" from Amy and daughters) was this very cool wall mounted sound meter I saw yesterday. It's called a SoundEar studio sound meter and it hangs on the back wall of the fitness studio, in full view of the Instructor. It changes colors as the volume in the room increases, displaying the Red dot when levels exceed the adjustable limit - in this case, 85 dBA.

According to the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) the damaging effects of loud noises are cumulative and they have published these guidelines for the duration of exposure at specific levels. It's important to note that NIOSH is concerned with worker safety (that's you) - it's sister .org is the more familiar OSHA.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety - NIOSH - Recommended Exposure Limit - REL - for occupational noise exposure is

  • 85 decibels,¬†A-weighted, as an¬†8-hr¬†Time-Weighted Average -TWA - (85¬†dBA¬†as an¬†8-hr¬†TWA)

Note! Exposures at and above this level are considered hazardous.

Exposure to continuous, varying, intermittent, or impulsive noise shall never exceed 140 dBA.


Chart from

So how loud is the music in your studio? Do you even know?

I'm struck by the similarity between asking an Instructor; "Is your music too loud?" and asking someone; "Have you had too much to drink?" Without an objective form of measurement, both are completely subjective and the responses to both can be couched by ego, rather than honesty.

I'm very curious to know if you have some way of measuring and/or limiting the sound levels in your studio [wlm_firstname]. Please let me know below.


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