Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 20, pp 19675–19686 | Cite as

Infection risk in gyms during physical exercise

  • Alexandro AndradeEmail author
  • Fábio Hech Dominski
  • Marcelo Luiz Pereira
  • Carla Maria de Liz
  • Giorgio Buonanno
Research Article


This study aimed to analyze the risk of infection (influenza and tuberculosis) for individuals participating in physical exercise. This was achieved by assessment of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, and examination of the physical characteristics of a number of gyms to determine whether there was a relationship to CO2 levels. This study was performed in three different gyms ventilated with either split system or central system air conditioners. The risk of airborne infection (percent of susceptible persons infected) was estimated for each gym using the Wells-Riley model. The risk of infection increased during periods of peak occupancy where the ventilation required by occupants was greater. In each gym, the highest risk of infection occurred during the evening where occupancy and CO2 levels were high. The infection risk for influenza was high in all situations due to the high quantum generation rate for this agent. This study suggests that inefficient ventilation in gyms is a significant problem, with high CO2 concentrations resulting in impaired air quality and high health risks to users, including increased risk of infections such as influenza and tuberculosis.


Air pollution Indoor Fitness centers Motor activity Infection Health 



AA conceived the study, designed the investigation, reviewed the database, analyzed the data, wrote the first draft of the paper, and approved the final submission. FHD collected the data, reviewed the database, analyzed the data, wrote the first draft of the paper, and approved the final submission. MLP conceived the study, designed the investigation, and analyzed the data. CML collected the data, reviewed the database, analyzed the data, and wrote the first draft of the paper. GB reviewed the first draft of the paper and approved the final submission.

Funding information

This study was supported by the Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination (CAPES), Public notice (no. 03/2015), through masters scholarship and financially supported by FAPESC (Research and Innovation Support Foundation of the State of Santa Catarina) through research (Project No. 2287/PAP 04/2014).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1822_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Center of Health and Sport ScienceSanta Catarina State UniversityFlorianopolisBrazil
  2. 2.Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Santa CatarinaSão JoséBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly

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