Cycling Exercise Classes May Be Bad for Your (Hearing) Health
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CitationSinha, Sumi. 2017. Cycling Exercise Classes May Be Bad for Your (Hearing) Health. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractObjective: 1) Determine feasibility of smart phone-based mobile technology to measure noise exposure; and 2) measure noise exposure in exercise spin classes.
Study Design / Methods: The SoundMeter Pro App (Faber Acoustical) was installed and calibrated on iPhone and iPod devices in an audiology chamber using an external sound level meter to within 2 dBA of accuracy. Recording devices were placed adjacent to participants attending spin classes in Boston, MA (n=17) and used to measure sound level (A-weighted) and noise dosimetry during exercise according to National Institute for Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH) guidelines.
Results: The average length of exposure was 48.9 ± 1.2 (standard error of the mean [SEM]) minutes per class. Maximum sound recorded among 17 random classes was 116.7 dB, which was below the NIOSH instantaneous exposure guideline of 140 dBA. An average of 31.6 ± 3.8 minutes were spent over 100 dBA. This exceeds NIOSH recommendations of 15 minutes of exposure or less at 100 dBA per day. Average noise exposure for one 45-minute class was 8.95 ± 1.2 times the recommended noise exposure dose for an 8-hour workday.
Conclusion: Randomly sampled cycling classes demonstrated high noise levels and potential for noise induced hearing loss. Mobile dosimetry technology may enable users to self-monitor risk to their hearing and actively engage in noise protection measures.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40620297