Temperature control in sports centres

Henlow Academy Sports Hall Interior resize

When attending a leisure centre or gym, a customer expects to sweat a little depending on the class they’re attending! It’s especially important then for such venues to have a suitable air conditioning unit and HVAC system in place, in order to prevent overheating or too-cold conditions.

In this article, we’re exploring the importance of maintaining a comfortable temperature within a sports centre, as well as what temperatures are considered to be the optimum target to achieve this.

Responsibility and duty

Technically, there are no regulations regarding specific temperatures within a gym or leisure centre, according to Health and Safety Executive. But normal health and safety legislation covers the vast majority of other safety requirements at the gym. In terms of temperature, although there are no fixed regulations specifically for gyms and leisure centres, we can use minimum workplace temperature requirements as an estimate of what constitutes a comfortable temperature during activity.

As stated by the Approved Code of Practice, 16°C is considered to be the base level for a comfortable temperature within a workplace. Work requiring “rigorous physical effort” is placed a little lower, at 13°C. Again, this isn’t a legal requirement, but it gives an idea of what an optimum temperature is for comfortably engaging in physical activity.

Sport England published a handy guide for exercise spaces and fitness centres, outlining the ideal temperature for clients:

  • Fitness Gym – 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 64°F) in the summer, with “comfort cooling” as needed.
  • Studios – 18°C (64°F), with a slight summer rise acceptable.

High temperatures at the gym

When a gym is too hot, working out becomes a torturous experience. Plus, it’s a risky activity; dehydration and heat stroke are notable risks of working out in an overheated gym. But even just sweating too much can be a problem. We Be Fit notes that while over-sweating can cause gym-goers to notice an extra pound of weight loss at the end of their workout, the weight lost is fluids from sweating and will be negated with a drink. The article suggests that working out in an overheated gym for a long period can result in a 50% less effective workout! All that sweating for nothing.

Low temperatures at the gym

It’s less common to encounter a very cold gym, but when it does happen, it can be just as difficult to work out in as a too-warm space. My Inner Go looked at the pros and cons of working out in a cold environment and found that chilly temperatures brought with it a higher risk of injury. This is because muscles tend to seize up in the cold (which is why warming up before physical activity is so important). The website offered a great analogy for cold muscles: consider them like Play-Doh! When Play-Doh gets cold, it goes stiff and doesn’t stretch, it just snaps. But warm Play-Doh is stretchy and flexible.

Regulating temperature

It’s important for sports centres to keep their different rooms and classes in mind when regulating the temperature. Investing in an efficient, responsive air conditioning system will help regulate a comfortable temperature within the building, with units in Daikin’s air conditioning range offering low energy consumption models to fit your carbon emission targets.

A comfortable environment is critical to a successful workout. Keeping a good temperature through a facility will ensure customers stay happy and are more likely to keep coming back. If the gym starts to get a reputation for being freezing cold or too stuffy, gym goers will quickly turn to other establishments.


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024