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loud music

Lois J. Barin lbarin at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Sat Nov 16 09:55:21 EST 1996

>aerobiguy at aol.com wrote:
>> Does anyone have any experience, or can cite articles, on maximum sound
>> levels in aerobics classes, or hearing loss from same?
>> I've got the OSHA guidleines, which say A weighting, slow response should
>> not exceed 105 dB for 1 hour, but this seems very high. I've got a sound
>> level meter and I'm about to conduct a survey to find the most enjoyable
>> sound levels in aerobics classes. Most of these participants say they're
>> more motivated with louder music.
>> There's an interesting thread (loud music) on misc.fitness.aerobic.
>> SteveThe guideline of 105 dB for one hour assumes the rest of the day is 
>quiet.  It also is based on the assumption that the exposure occurs 
>several days a week for several years.  One such exposure a week is not 
>likely to cause permanent loss.  However, daily participants and 
>instructors could be at risk.  Instructors could especially be at 
>risk if exposed to high levels several hours a day and several days a 
>week.  Their employers might be subject to citation by OSHA unless they 
>are exempted in some way or are in a proper hearing conservation program 
>with controlled exposure.  For reference, the level at the mixboard of 
>an outdoor rock-and-roll concert is typically around 105 dB, often 
>higher.  Levels are typically higher closer to the stage.  From my 
>experience, levels in aerobics rooms are not usually this high.  
>However, they are high enough to cause problems for any neighbors in the 
>same building.  Normal building construction cannot adequately block the 
>levels found in aerobics rooms.  Thus, such facilities should not be 
>located in the same building with other businesses unless there is an 
>adquate buffer space.

This information on sound levels is good, but there is the added concern of 
"vibration" contributing to potential hearing damage, and that's what  the 
popular press has been talking about the past couple of years in reference to 

I'm not talking sound vibration, but body vibration, from jumping around in 
aerobics classes.  Or truck drivers bouncing around in a semi for long periods 
of time, too.

The last I heard, there is still some disagreement about vibration 
contributing to the damage from noise exposure, but my best guess would be 
that there are individual differences in susceptibility to this happening.

And LOUD?  One place I work is a multidisciplinary site and there is a gym 
across the hall from the audiology division, which is OK, except for the hour 
a day they have an aerobics class in that reverberent environment.....

They took the hint the day I stood in the doorway with my handy-dandy sound 
level meter......

Lois Barin
(Ph.D candidates *have* to have a sense of humor)

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