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Aerosol-borne virus transmission during exercise

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“Breathing under physical exertion releases more aerosols – and thus potential virus particles” – warn sports physicians.
Fitness studio operators have long since accepted their responsibility and use ventilation systems to “vent” aerosols.

In the cooler months, however, it becomes more and more difficult to ventilate – because it is hardly possible to ensure that the incoming fresh air is heated up quickly.
That is why indoor air experts recommend the installation of air purification devices.

Sport favors aerosol emissions

Woman breathes
People run through the forest in winter

Physicist Bert Blocken from the University of Eindhoven published a study in which he showed that a cloud of the finest bioaerosols can spread up to 10 meters behind a runner . A minimum distance of 2 meters is not enough here. When cycling (Velo-Sport) the recommended minimum distance is even 20 meters .

Perikles Simon, a renowned sports scientist at the University of Johannes Guttenberg University in Mainz, also points out that humidity is a decisive factor in the transmission of viruses through the air. “[…] depending on the weather , a virus like smoke spreads in the air,” explains the doctor and advises athletes to use sunny weather instead of planning the daily lap in fog and haze. 

The background behind this professional advice: Enveloped viruses, and thus also influenza and Sars-CoV-2 viruses, like it humid: If the humidity rises above the critical value of 60 percent , viruses have an easy time of it. But what does all of this have to do with exercise in the gym ?

Fitness studios ensure healthy air

If sport – like in the fitness studio – is done in closed rooms, the aerosol load in the room air increases by leaps and bounds. People exercising on the machines can do sports on the spot in the studios. If the court or the exercise equipment now re-occupied, the following athletes breathe in the worst case in the very same aerosol cloud that his predecessor in front of him left has. 

Disinfecting and cleaning the devices and grip points is also not a sufficient measure to master the risk of infection via bioaerosols. Studies show: Without measures, the finest droplets can be detected in the room air for up to 5 hours .

Regular ventilation plans should further minimize the risk in the warm summer months. In autumn and winter, however, experience has shown that the windows remain closed for most of the day: 

Many operators of sports facilities react preventively in order to give sports-loving customers a feeling of security during training and to prevent infections based on the latest findings.

Air hygiene in sport is the be-all and end-all

Areas and industries in which many people are in confined spaces in closed rooms are concerned about air hygiene and take measures to prevent the spread of viruses or to keep them as low as possible. Airlines show in an unprecedented way that high-quality air hygiene is also possible in closed rooms in which many people are staying at the same time : 

Advanced ventilation technology ensures that all of the cabin air in the aircraft can be completely exchanged in just three minutes. In addition, HEPA filters are used to filter out virus particles from the portion of the filtered air. 

What is possible above the clouds also works on the ground:
Air purification systems with ION HEPA filters ensure that the ambient air is free of germs and viruses. Virus transmission is  inhibited , while viral genetic material is rendered harmless in an active, destructive process  .

Suitable air purifier models for fitness studios: 
high-frequency systems and air purifiers from the GRAN 900 model series .

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