Gyms are one of the main sources of transmission of Covid-19, advances study
When exercising, an average person emits 76,200 aerosols, against the 580 they expel when resting.
The news is not very encouraging for those who see the gym almost as a second (or even first) home. A study by the University of Munich, published this Monday, May 23, indicates that these may be true sources of transmission of Covid-19.
Research reveals that when exercising, a person emits 132 times more aerosols per minute than when resting, from an average of 580 to 76,200. Knowing that these small particles that spread in the air when we breathe are responsible for the airborne transmission of the virus, researchers believe that gyms end up becoming major centers of propagation – and they are not the only ones who say so.
“This data not only explains SARS-CoV-2 transmissions during group exercise indoors, but could also be used to design more targeted mitigation measures for indoor physical activities, such as physical education classes at school. , dance events during weddings or high-intensity gym classes, such as spinning”, can be read in the study cited by “CNN Portugal”.
Henning Wackerhage, a co-author of the research and professor of exercise biology at the Technical University of Munich, told Time magazine, was surprised by the findings of the analysis, which had several people exercising to exhaustion on stationary bikes with a mask. of silicone on the face, which was connected to a plastic container where the particles were stored and quantified.
“We knew that when we exercise, there is more air coming out of the human body. But we didn’t know, and I didn’t expect it, that when we exercise a lot, we expel more particles per liter of air,” said the expert.
The team points out, however, that the analysis has limitations, one of the most evident being the small sample on which it is based – consisting of only 16 people. The fact that none were infected with Covid-19, due to ethical concerns about the possible risks to the health of the participants, also limits the extrapolation of the results.
To “CNN Portugal”, Bernardo Gomes, a public health doctor, commented that isolating gyms as the most favorable places for the spread of the virus is not fair, since all less ventilated places and with a greater concentration of people represent high risks of transmission. of diseases.
“It’s not just the gyms, it’s the indoor physical spaces without ventilation. Ventilation is most important. Indoor air quality will have to be a priority for years to come. Places with less ventilation are the most conducive to the need to wear a mask”, he began by saying.
To reduce the dangers, people can look for larger establishments, with better air circulation and with more space for each user, he suggested.
He also advised taking into account the hours of use and ventilation of spaces when choosing where to train, especially because the use of a mask does not solve the problem during the practice of some modalities.