But what about hearing damage? It all depends on how long you are exposed to a certain noise level. With the 92 dB, I measured, it was still safe for me within a maximum exposure for about 1,5 hours.
So, apparently, I was lucky. Research from the United States found a maximum of 116,7 dB among 17 random spinning classes! In addition, people spent an average of 32 minutes at a noise level over 100 dB.
Given that the maximal exposure period for 100dB is 15 minutes , so we can conclude that everyone who participated in these spinning classes had some kind of hearing damage, like noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). NIHL is the second most common type of hearing loss after age-related hearing impairment .
The instructors have even higher chances of getting hearing impairment. According to research, instructors who teach two or more high-intensity sessions per day are at risk of hearing damage . Unfortunately, it is not just the hearing that is at risk for these training experts. Yelling to be heard by everyone in the room, or raising their voice simply because the music is too loud, can cause major vocal damage.
How Does Music Affect Your Workout?
Why does the music have to be so loud that it is damaging our hearing and affecting our well-being? Can't we just turn down the volume, put on earplugs, or improve the room's acoustics? The answer is not that simple because of the fact that we just “love” loud music.
If you've ever taken a spin class while listening to music or ridden your home trainer while listening to your favourite tracks, you'll understand how beneficial music can be as a workout enhancer. A good upbeat song may get you pumped and ready to go, allowing you to give your all on the bike.
Apparently, we should blame our sacculus. A team led by psychologist Neil Todd, from the University of Manchester, has discovered that the sacculus, as a part of our inner ear, releases endorphins when stimulated by loud music. The sacculus, for instance, particularly likes low frequencies of musical beats (bass) above 90 decibels .