How Important Is Temperature Regulation In Gyms And Leisure Centres?

importance temperature regulation gyms health clubs frugal fitness

Whether you’re working up a sweat in the gym, relaxing at the sauna or enjoying yourself at the leisure centre, it’s important to stay cool and well hydrated to get the most out of your workout. If you’re a gym regular, you’ll also be aware of just how much more comfortable your workout routine is when you’re not overheated. 

But just how much of a role does temperature regulation play in in improving your exercise routine - and is there a legal temperature limit in place to ensure that you’re working out safely? Here, we look into the matter and explore the effects of temperature control within gyms and leisure centres. 

Legal Regulations 

In the UK, there are no legal regulations in place that specifically relate to temperature control in gyms or leisure centres, however, standard health and safety regulations do cover most other gym safety regulations. In this case, we can use minimum workplace temperature requirements as an estimate of what constitutes a comfortable temperature during physical activity

According to the Approved Code of practice, workplaces should maintain a base temperature of at least 16°C (or 13°C for workplaces requiring intense physical effort). Again, this isn't a legal requirement, but it gives an idea of what an optimum temperature is for comfortably engaging in physical activity. 

According to Sport England, the ideal temperatures for gyms and leisure centres are as follows: 

• Studios – 18°C (64°F), with a slight summer rise acceptable. 
• Fitness Gym – 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 64°F) in the summer, with “comfort cooling” as needed. 

High Temperature Workouts – The Risks 

Attempting to complete a workout in an overheated gym is not only uncomfortable – it’s also dangerous. Dehydration and heat stroke are notable risks of working out in an overheated gym. But even just sweating too much can be a problem. 

Fitness website We Be Fit advises that whilst sweating too much can result in one pound of extra weight loss after a workout, the perceived weight loss is actually caused by loss of fluids due to increased sweating. The article suggests that working out in an overheated gym for a long period can result in a 50% less effective workout! All that sweating for nothing. 

Low Temperature Workouts – The Risks 

You’re a lot less likely to find a gym that’s too cold, but it can and does happen and it poses just as much of a risk as an overheated gym. You might find a lower temperature gym if the building is old and drafty and it's located in the north. You could also find a lower temp gym because owners know that it helps reduce sweat, mildew, and smell a little bit. This can be helpful for locker room areas, showers and restrooms.   

My Inner Go looked at the pros and cons of working out in a cold environment and found that chilly temperatures brought with it a higher risk of injury. This is because muscles tend to seize up in the cold (which is why warming up before physical activity is so important). The website offered a great analogy for cold muscles: consider them like Play-Doh! When Play-Doh gets cold, it goes stiff and doesn’t stretch, it just snaps. But warm Play-Doh is stretchy and flexible. 

Maintaining The Ideal Temperature 

Gym and leisure centre owners should assess how best to maintain the temperature of their facility – especially if they have multiple different rooms for classes and activities. Investing in an efficient, responsive air conditioning unit will help regulate a comfortable temperature within the building, with units in Daikin's air conditioning range offering low energy consumption models to fit your carbon emission targets. 

It is imperative that gyms and leisure centres are able to maintain optimum temperatures for their clients. Keeping a good temperature through a facility will ensure customers stay happy and are more likely to keep coming back. If the gym starts to get a reputation for being freezing cold or too stuffy, gym goers will quickly turn to other establishments. 

Sources: 

https://www.livestrong.com/article/532219-how-to-drop-your-core-temperature/ 

https://www.myinnergo.co.uk/blogs/news/17054672-how-does-temperature-affect-training 

http://www.webefit.com/articles_400-499/article_406_GymTemp.html 

https://www.sportengland.org/media/4203/fitness-and-exercise-spaces.pdf 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/law.htm 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l24.htm


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how important temperature regulation is at gyms and health clubs.

Interested in more articles about fitness management? 

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