With Covid-19 back on the rise, South Korea recently passed an interesting regulation pertaining to gyms. According to the New York Times (As Virus Cases Speed Up, Seoul Tells Gym Users to Slow Down), South Korea passed a new regulation, which goes into affect in roughly 10 days requiring that:
(1) treadmills must go no faster than 3.7 miles per hour [a little slower than a 16 minute mile], and
(2) the music played at gyms must have a tempo no faster than 120 beats per minute.
Why, you ask? Because the regulators are trying to reduce high intensity workouts which often result in heavy breathing or heavy sweating, which can, in turn, increase transmission of the virus. Curiously, this new regulation does not impose an equivalent restriction on the use of stationary bikes. As an owner of a Peloton bike, I can attest to the fact that I sweat as much or perhaps even more when I cycle as opposed to when I run.
While I think that the Korean lawmakers deserve an A for creativity (and for trying to help gyms remain open through this crisis), this new regulation might be hard to police, and fails to take into account other measures to decrease the spread of the virus, such as ventilation and distancing between machines. Speaking of The Police, the song Roxanne has a tempo of 133 beats per minute.
Dave’s comment when I told him about this was, well this knocks out anything by the Ramones. He’s right – the tempo of Sheena Is A Punk Rocker is 176 beats per minute, and Rock n Roll High School is over 190 beats per minute!
I guess the motto is Hey, Ho, Let’s Go slower!