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Design and hygiene issues in sports facilities. A pilot study which investigates fitness centres by using a multidisciplinary tool


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Introduction: Awareness of the benefits of the physical activity on health by the general public has increased the number of people who is practicing it in the recent years. The gyms are the primary place - as the main indoor environment - for practicing physical activity. Methods: A multidisciplinary tool was used primarily to investigate and analyse the general aspects of fitness centres then an assessment tool was created to evaluate a specific aspect such as the location, dimension, maintenance, etc. from the design, hygiene and safety points of view. Each section of the tool consisted of a series of questionnaires where the facility managers and the researches must have answered. Discussion: The tool was tested on various cases by analysing the critical issues which affects the quality of spaces and end users' health. Conclusions: The critical points observed from the tool that has an impact on the design of the gyms will help to shape future of these facilities. Several design and management strategies were also highlighted to improve the hygiene and health issues of fitness centres.
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Original art icl es and rev ie ws
Key words
design and management
• tness centres
• evaluation tool
• indoor environment
Design and hygiene issues
in sports facilities. A pilot study
which investigates tness centres
by using a multidisciplinary tool
Marco Gola1, Lisa Gaviraghi1, Lorenzo Mario Capasso2, Alessandro Cuda2,
Daniela D’Alessandro3, Caterina Bertolini2, Simona Riboli2 and Stefano Capolongo1
1Dipartimento di Architettura, Ingegneria delle Costruzioni e Ambiente Costruito (ABC), Politecnico
di Milano, Milan, Italy
2Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Medicina Sperimentale e Forense, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia,
3Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Edile e Ambientale (DICEA), Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
Ann Ist Super Sanità 2019 | Vol. 55, No. 3: 224-232
DOI: 10.4415/ANN_19_03_05
Introduction. Awareness of the benets of the physical activity on health by the general
public has increased the number of people who is practicing it in the recent years. The
gyms are the primary place – as the main indoor environment – for practicing physical
Methods. A multidisciplinary tool was used primarily to investigate and analyse the gen-
eral aspects of tness centres then an assessment tool was created to evaluate a specic
aspect such as the location, dimension, maintenance, etc. from the design, hygiene and
safety points of view. Each section of the tool consisted of a series of questionnaires
where the facility managers and the researches must have answered.
Discussion. The tool was tested on various cases by analysing the critical issues which
affects the quality of spaces and end users’ health.
Conclusions. The critical points observed from the tool that has an impact on the design
of the gyms will help to shape future of these facilities. Several design and management
strategies were also highlighted to improve the hygiene and health issues of tness centres.
In the most developed countries, according to recent
studies, people spend more than 90% of their life in
indoors including leisure time [1-3] in enclosed dwell-
ings and workplaces making the indoor environments a
major determinant of health [4-5]. The attention by the
Scientic Community therefore was focused on how
the environmental factors, especially the indoors, have
inuenced the human health, and wellness, in particu-
lar the indoor air quality [6]; in fact, the Italian Ministry
of the Environment (1991), has dened the “indoor air”
as the air that is present in conned non-industrial life
and working spaces (homes, ofces, hospitals, schools,
etc.) [7].
The healthiness of conned spaces is inuenced by
many factors, such as pollutants due to the presence of
people, human activities, air conditioning systems, and
building materials [8]. Indoor pollution is dened as
the presence of different chemical, physical and biologi-
cal pollutants in the air. Protracted exposure to one or
more of these pollutants due to frequent and prolonged
stays in conned environments may result in health is-
sues ranging from respiratory and allergic disorders to
the neoplasms [9].
In the 2000s, wellness and health were associated with
the idea of tness which was subsequently identied
with an attainment and maintenance of physical tness
with constant and targeted physical activity followed by
a series of healthy habits and behaviours. Avoiding ex-
cesses and unbalanced lifestyles would make it possible
to lower the risks of contracting illnesses, and foster the
maintenance of a good state of health and wellbeing
[10]. The growing interest on health and illness pre-
vention through exercise and physical activity further
involved public administrations, which, in synergy with
medical communities, to promote and underscore the
Address for correspondence: Marco Gola, Dipartimento di Architettura, Ingegneria delle Costruzioni e Ambiente Costruito (ABC), Politecnico di
Milano, Via Giovanni Ponzio 31, 20133 Milan, Italy. Email:
Hygienic and design issues in gyms
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
importance of the habits and behaviours listed above as
the key sources of health and wellbeing.
According to the results of ISTAT survey (2006), the
conned environments mostly used for physical exer-
cise are gyms, where the activities can be grouped un-
der the name of exercises, aerobics, tness, etc. [11].
A sports facility is a place that can be considered as
multifunctional, from the point of view of operation and
consequently also from a legal one. In fact, it is rst
and foremost a place of sports activity [12], as well as
a workplace both in the management phase and in the
realization of the facility itself [13].
Gyms, indoor swimming pools, and some velodromes
are dened as conned sports environments. As far as
gyms are concerned, nowadays they are environments
largely frequented by both athletes, for training and
competitive activities, and by the general public, for
recreational and/or rehabilitation purposes. To date,
these structures are not regulated in their construction
and management by a clear and organic national legisla-
tion, and despite the attempt of some regions to ll the
existing regulatory void, a primary point of reference is
missing. An exception is represented by school gyms, for
which reference is still made to the now dated general
regulations for school buildings [14], and some specic
regional regulations for the prevention of health risks
within sports buildings. The regulations analysed refer to
the Italian regions Basilicata, Calabria, Liguria, Marche,
Tuscany, and Umbria [15]. All these norms state project
designs related to specic requirements for the opening
and operation of centres for physical exercise.
A clear and updated regulatory system is a key fac-
tor in ensuring public health protection in general, and
especially when dealing with indoor environments [16].
Since gyms are conned places where, due to a large
number of people and the type of activity performed
therein, numerous indoor pollutants can accumulate, it
is very important that these environments meet require-
ments that allow users to carry out a physical activity
without compromising their health and safety [17]. In
general, scientic literature points out that in the de-
sign, implementation, and subsequent management
phases, all the physical components that dene climate
in a conned environment (microclimate) and may di-
rectly affect the conditions of thermal well-being have
to be assessed, then athletic performance and more
generally the state of health [13]. As the international
regulations on sporting locations indicate, for all the
rooms where natural ventilation can be guaranteed the
general requirements apply, while as far as the thermo-
hygrometric, renewal and air quality parameters are
concerned, each country, and specically also each re-
gion, can provide restrictions.
The aim of this investigation is to perform a pilot
study to assess a multidisciplinary tool, designed to
evaluate the efciency of gyms as a health promoter.
Development of the tool
In order to assess the quality of gyms, a multidisci-
plinary team, starting from previous studies concerning
the topic and regulations on sports facilities, developed
a tool to understand the state of these sports facilities,
and, if present, the health risks associated with indoor
pollutants [18, 19].
The tool is divided into eight different sections. Each
section includes questions with multiple answers or val-
ues. In order to make the instrument simple, clear and
comprehensible for completion by technicians and fa-
cility managers, questions have been organized by topic
with many graphical references.
Each section is described below.
General informationThe rst section of the tool
investigates general information regarding the facil-
ity, with the aim to understand its location, age, size
and the number of users and employees involved. The
interest of this section is to understand whether the
sport facilities’ proximity or distance from city cen-
tres affects their size. It could be expected that being
closer to the city centres, being an area that is demo-
graphically denser, would correspond to an increase
in the number of users who frequent these structures.
The section also veries whether the space is located
inside a building where other activities are carried out
or if the building is dedicated exclusively to tness.
Gym location In this second section the purpose
of the questions is to analyse the distribution of t-
ness spaces among the oors within the building (one
or more oors), for the reasons described below. In
the case of underground, semi-basement or ground
oor spaces there may be several health hazards like
humidity, due to the accumulation of moisture from
various sources (i.e., rising damp, seepage or conden-
sation), and low illumination and/or lack of natural
ventilation. The resolution of all these aspects is es-
sential to ensure adequate drying and removal of dan-
gerous airborne contaminants like cigarette smoke
and radon [20]. Exposure to radon, a radioactive
noble gas, carcinogenic if inhaled (Group I accord-
ing to the IARC – International Agency for Research
on Cancer – classication) and recognized as the sec-
ond cause of lung cancer, is higher in basements and
semi-basement, and hyperventilation in gyms could
increase exposure risk. If the gym is located next to
the ground, the tool investigates whether a radon gas
concentration measurement has ever been carried
out within the premises, in order to check if the facil-
ity’s management is aware of the presence of this risk,
and, above all, if there are systems for its removal.
Gym spacesThe third section of the question-
naire investigates the activities performed within the
structure to understand the relationship between the
size of the facility or the maximum number of users,
and the number and type of functions and services
provided by the structure. It is expected that as the
facility surface area increases, as a consequence of
the increasing number of users, there will be a greater
number of functions than in smaller facilities or with
a limited user base. In general, there are basic func-
tions common to all facilities, like a foyer, an area
with equipment, at least one locker room, and at least
one room for group classes [21].
Functional designThis section investigates the
layout of the premises and the type of pathways
Marco Gola, Lisa Gaviraghi, Lorenzo Mario Capasso et al.
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
that users and employees follow to move within the
structure, to enter, exit or move from one function to
another. The objective is to verify the afnities and
differences between the two types of paths, and to
understand if there are intersections that should be
avoided. Another purpose is to verify if there are over-
lapping ows that should be differentiated, like ac-
cessing and leaving the gym space. This conguration
is not recommended as it increases the potential risk
of carrying dust and dirt from the outdoors into the
gym space [22]. In addition to the pathways, the ac-
cessibility of the facility by disabled users is veried.
The questions in this part are intended to highlight
if a structure is not accessible to some or all disabled
users, the reasons for the impediments and whether
they can be resolved by installing special machines
for overcoming architectural barriers, or if more sig-
nicant modications are needed that may require
structural changes.
FinishingThe following section investigates both
the interior nishing materials, as well as, although
indirectly, their hygienic implications in terms of
clean-ability. The purpose of the section is therefore
to understand whether the materials used for cov-
ering the ceilings, oors and, if necessary, walls are
suitable, or, because of their characteristics, are more
prone to absorb moisture or to facilitate accumula-
tions of dust and allergens [23-24]. These consider-
ations are also extended to furniture and equipment
for physical activity.
DimensionsThe section investigates the dimen-
sions of the activity rooms, both in terms of net sur-
face and net height [25]. This is to understand if the
relationship between the surface area of the room
and the maximum number of users participating in
tness activities is acceptable, and whether the height
of the premises is adequate in relation to the size and
number of expected users. Temperature and humid-
ity values of the air within these spaces are also re-
quired, if monitored. The purpose is not only to verify
whether these values are constantly monitored, but
also their compliance with the requirements of sports
regulations [12].
Ventilation and air conditioning systemsThe
section veries whether spaces are adequately venti-
lated and if there are projections in the rooms that
can potentially accumulate dust and allergens [26-
27]. It also checks if the spaces are properly lit. The
section aims at verifying whether the temperature
and humidity values of the air are measured on a
regular basis, indicating awareness of the risks associ-
ated with the presence of high values, especially in
the case of dampness. Finally, the last two questions
assess in detail whether ventilation by opening win-
dows is sufcient to ensure good air exchange [28].
Cleaning procedures The last section concerns
management aspects connected to cleansing proce-
dures of activities rooms and equipment. In particular,
the tool investigates if cleanliness is sufcient for the
size of facilities and, above all, if the cleaning prod-
ucts employed are appropriate and prevent the release
of volatile organic compounds responsible for poor
quality air conditions [29]. In addition, it asks how
frequently lters for forced air recycling are replaced.
In fact uncleaned or unsubstituted lters might be-
come bacteria and mould reservoirs, which are then
released into the environment with negative effects on
people [30]. Lastly, the tool inquired if the formation
of mould colonies and the deterioration or alteration
of nishing materials have ever been detected.
A pilot application of the tool was carried out in the
city of Milan on different case studies (gyms and tness
centres), in order to check questions’ consistency and
ease of compiling. The criterion applied for the selec-
tion of gyms consisted in achieving a sample of build-
ings, as much as possible various and heterogeneous,
which encompasses both small and large structures, in
the city centre and in the suburbs, belonging to tness
chains and private providers, recently open or placed
in historic or older buildings. The selection criteria ap-
plied for the enrolment included rst of all the location,
in order to ensure a picture of the supplies all over the
city. Secondly, it distinguished private structures and t-
ness chains in order to get a proportional sample. The
research of the centres was done through online data-
Once identied, 40 tness centres were contacted.
In addition to explaining the survey and its purposes,
they were asked to collaborate answering anonymously
to the questionnaire.
Only 18 structures showed their availability, 3 of
them were excluded because they were part of the same
tness group. The pilot study was then conducted on 15
structures, as reported in Figure 1.
Two were the modalities for lling the questionnaire,
depending on whether the structure granted or not the
opportunity to make an on-site visit. In this former case,
the questionnaire was lled in loco by the evaluator
with the help of the manager or a member of the staff;
in the latter, it was forwarded by email and then printed
and completed by the manager himself who then sent it
back to the evaluator. In this case, the researchers were
available to support the manager for any doubt regard-
ing the compilation, in order to avoid errors.
Data obtained from the questionnaire were inserted
in an Excel database, in order to highlight structural
and environmental characteristics of these facilities and
to offer design indications useful for both designers and
Almost all the investigated structures are recently
constructed (as Figure 2 shows). In fact, analysing the
year of construction or inauguration of the buildings,
only 3 of them (20%) became operational before 2000,
one of which was located in the central urban area and
two in metropolitan satellite areas. Seven gyms (46.7%)
opened between 2000 and 2009, four of them were lo-
cated in metropolitan satellite areas, two in semi-central
areas and one in urban peripheral area; the remaining
5 gyms (33.3%) became operational between 2010 and
2014; two of them were placed in central urban areas,
two in semi-central areas and one in an urban periph-
eral area.
Hygienic and design issues in gyms
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
In terms of sizing, the structures are divided into
three categories according to the total area: small-sized
gyms (<500 sqm); medium-sized gyms (between 500
sqm and 1500 sqm) and large-sized gyms (>1500 sqm).
Among the analysed structures, 20% have an area of
fewer than 500 sqm, 40% between 500 and 1500 sqm,
whereas 40% over 1500 sqm, which usually correspond
to big tness centres.
In the study sample, only 4 (26.7%) of the analysed
structures are for gym use only. The remaining 11
(73.3%) are located in buildings with other functions:
ofces, private residences (53.0%), commercial activi-
ties (13.3%), and tertiary services (6.7%).
Thirteen gyms (86.7%) have part of their spaces in
the basement. In relation to the risk of the presence
of Radon gas inside the activities’ rooms, the owners
of these 13 structures were asked if they were aware
of the ground attachment modalities of the building.
Indeed, the most effective ways for removing this threat
from the structure is to provide a crawl space, or, al-
ternatively, a cavity, so that air recirculation can help
reduce concentrations in closed environments. These
Figure 1
Map of the structures contacted and analysed for a survey. The sample is various and covers the whole territory of Milan.
Central urban
satellite areas
Urban peripheral
1987-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2014
Figure 2
Distribution of the analysed gyms by age and area.
Marco Gola, Lisa Gaviraghi, Lorenzo Mario Capasso et al.
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
solutions are easier to nd in recent constructions. Re-
garding the investigated gyms only 3 (23.1%) knew they
had crawl spaces, 2 (15.4%) were not able to answer
and 8 (61.5%) declared they didn’t have any mean of
radon reduction. Overall, it emerges that most of the
centres have never measured radon levels.
The survey shows that in structures sized less than 500
sqm many functions are lacking and changing rooms for
customers and employees are unied. By contrast, gyms
with a oor area ranging from 500 and 1500 sqm pres-
ent a larger number of spaces and services, even though
only structures larger than 1500 sqm are equipped with
modern and cutting-edge services such as swimming
pool, spa, solarium, food services, etc. [10].
Dimensional prole strongly inuences also the layout
organization and users’ routes, as reported in Figure 3.
In smaller sports centres both the categories of people
who use these spaces follow the same path, which is a
basic path, not further simplied, that leads from the en-
trance to the changing room and then to the gyms. The
organization of the routes grows together with the size
of the structure: the paths are distinguished by the type
of locals they link, and by the people who walk them
down (customers or employees). During the on-site vis-
its, it was possible to notice that, with l regard to the
routes, there is a critical issue linked to the input and
output ows in the structure. In fact, in many structures,
people who go into the changing rooms before doing
physical activity walk the same path of those who leave
from tness practice. Such a situation is not recom-
mended because it potentially increases the risk of car-
rying dust and pollutants from the outdoor environment
into the spaces for physical activity [22]. In general, it
would be better to keep different routes or, alternatively,
to organize the changing room as a lter zone between
the entrance and the area where all the tness activities
are performed, and where it is possible to benet from
all the services that the structure provides.
The sample also shows that in 2 (13.3%) gyms dis-
abled users may not be able to access the structure. Out
(SPA, POOL...)
(SPA, POOL...)
(SPA, POOL...)
< 500 sqm
500 sqm - 1500 sqm
> 1500 sqm
Figure 3
Customers-employees routes in the analysed structures divided by size.
Hygienic and design issues in gyms
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
of the 86.7% of structures accessible to disabled users
(13 gyms), in 26.7% (4 gyms) the access is limited to
some areas.
In terms of design, the section related to materials
used for making the nishing of the gyms has the aim of
verifying they are not dangerous for customers and em-
ployees’ health. Building products can indeed worsen
living conditions by directly releasing polluting or dan-
gerous substances, by absorbing and then releasing sub-
stances from other sources or by favouring the build up
of dirt and the growth of microorganisms, which may
increase the risks of incurring in one or more building-
related diseases. With respect to nishing, materials
that can cause these effects are glues, cladding for pav-
ing and revetment, carpet, varnishes, dyes, panels, false
ceilings, and furniture. In almost all the analysed centres
it was possible to notice that the materials were suit-
able, as Table 1 shows. Particularly the cladding, often
realized in plastic laminate for both ooring and walls,
proved to be in good state, smooth and easily cleanable.
The sole exceptions are two cases where it was found
the presence of exposed brick and wooden ceiling. Both
these materials, being very porous, are more likely to
accumulate microorganisms because of the imbibition,
which favours their proliferation [31]. It is possible to
prevent indoor air pollution caused by building prod-
ucts with a wise choice of materials, methods of laying
and installation and nishing processes.
With respect to dimensional aspects, the tool inspects
the relationship between the size of activities rooms and
the number of users. No difference between the size of
specic areas and the number of clients expected to use
them has emerged from the comparison of case studies.
In parallel with the maximum number of users each
room can hold, air temperature and humidity values in
those rooms were also asked. As per existing prescrip-
tions, the air temperature inside the activities room
must vary between a minimum of 16 °C and a maxi-
mum of 20 °C with humidity values not lower to 50%.
In fact, higher values of air temperature and humidity
may favour the proliferation of germs, bacteria, and mi-
croorganisms which, scattering in the air, may lead to
inadequate conditions of the spaces. The values record-
ed from the sample are for most out of the standard.
With respect to ventilation systems, it emerges that,
in most cases (14/15), the whole building, or only a part,
is equipped with implants projecting from the ceiling,
which increases the probability of dirt and determines
a worsening of indoor air quality [32]. The designer
should, therefore, prefer lighting ttings integrated with
the ceiling and ventilation systems on top of the false
ceiling. Regarding the air exchange implant, almost all
the structures are equipped with a forced air system.
This is positive because in this way the exchange is
mechanically controlled by the specic equipment
which enables the manager to set different values ac-
cording to the needs.
The regular monitoring of air humidity and the tem-
perature inside the gyms is another aspect investigated
by the survey, which asked if these values are regularly
measured. Conrming data emerged in the previous
section, the temperature is monitored more often than
humidity (respectively 85% and 35%) and structures
seem to be indeed very little interested in keeping its
value within certain standards. Once again, the man-
ager is responsible for the constant monitoring of air
temperature and humidity in order to intervene if these
values rise or fall excessively.
Eventually, the last two questions of the section con-
nected to ventilation system asked if in the spaces for
activities there is some form of air turnover – even
through windows opening – and if so, how long they
are kept open. While the feedback was positive in the
55% of the cases (in total 8) for the rst query, not even
a structure was able to answer to the second question,
impeding to dene if the windows opening is sufcient
for ensuring an appropriate air exchange.
Anyway, it is always good to ank the forced air re-
cycling with a natural air turnover but being careful to
respect the established time limits to avoid an excessive
fall of relative humidity and temperature and the for-
mation of airows disturbing the users in the activities
The cleaning is strictly related to the size of the tness
centre: while smaller ones do the cleaning only two or
three times a week, in the larger ones the cleaning staff
is always present inside the activities spaces and cleans
continuously during the daily opening (as long as the
size of the structure increases the cleaning modality be-
comes extensive and more careful).
In almost all the cases, the cleaning activity is per-
formed by a specialized external agency and, for what
concerns the equipment used, this can be done either
Table 1
Finishing materials analysis in case studies detected
Ceiling Number (%)
Cement 2 (13.3)
Drywall false ceiling 1 (6.7)
Modular false ceiling 6 (40.0)
Plaster 5 (33.3)
Wood 1 (6.7)
Total 15 (100.0)
Floor Number (%)
Ceramic 1 (6.7)
Laminate 7 (46.7)
Parquet 7 (46.7)
Total 15 (100.0)
Wall Number (%)
Plaster, exposed brick 1 (6.7)
Mural paint 2 (13.3)
Washable paint 9 (60.0)
Glass 3 (20.0)
Total 15 (100.0)
Marco Gola, Lisa Gaviraghi, Lorenzo Mario Capasso et al.
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
by the cleaning staff, the structure’s personnel and the
customers themselves. This is another important datum
because reveals constant hygiene of tools which should
not be underestimated considering that these ones
sometimes have parts which can easily absorb sweat
and humidity creating an ideal environment for micro-
organisms [31].
The maintenance of the ventilation system is another
relevant issue. Just like nishing materials and equip-
ment inserts, the lters of the ventilation system can
turn into germs and allergens reservoirs and, if they are
not regularly clean or substituted, they can make the
ventilation system a source of biological risk [33]. Thus,
it is really important to undertake routine maintenance
of the system and to replace the lters. The survey
highlights that in the majority of gyms (55%) the lters
are cleaned or substituted monthly but, in other cases
(15%), the structures declared that they replaced them
only once in a year, or even that they’ve never changed
them. Naturally, it depends on the dimensions of the
gym and the number of hours of the functioning of the
implant itself.
The last section dealt with hygienic and sanitary
matters. In fact, it was asked if moulds were ever been
found in the implants, or if nishing materials have ever
shown signs of alteration or decline. While for questions
regarding moulds negative answers predominated, posi-
tive answers prevailed about material alterations (60%).
In both cases, the problem is connected with standing
water, which penetrates nishing materials or furniture,
creating a favourable environment for microorganism
potentially dangerous for human health [34, 35]. Thus,
it is up to the designer to realize a waterproof system
of ground attachment and an efcient implant suitable
for rainwater disposal. On the other hand, it is the duty
of the manager to make sure that the implants in the
structure work synergistically in order to ensure a cor-
rect air recycling and to keep optimal environmental
and thermo-hygrometric conditions.
The multidisciplinary tool allowed us to verify poten-
tial critical issues related to the collection of informa-
tion needed for carrying out a complete and exhaustive
investigation, to be potentially extended to wider con-
texts. The time for lling the questionnaire is reason-
able (roughly 60 minutes). The questions seem to be
appropriate, but the answering modality showed some
difculties, which can be overcome using closed-ended
questions. The questionnaires sent by email and lled
by the managers of the structures were not complete,
thus it was necessary to verify ex-post all the questions
on site.
A potential limit can be deducted from the tool itself,
which needs to be lled by a competent evaluator or,
at least, by someone instructed about its use and sup-
ported by the manager of the structure.
The main deciencies are observed in the section
related to spaces’ sizing in contrast to the scheme re-
ported in the questionnaire. In this respect, a question
regarding the volume of the environment and the layout
of the room will be included in case it does not corre-
spond to the scheme references.
Planned modications include a clearer denition of
the number of users, which has to refer to the mean
number of people who attended the gym in the previ-
ous 6 months. This will make it easier to quantify the
air volume needed. In the light of the survey we car-
ried out and the results we obtained, it was possible to
make some considerations and draw indications useful
Table 2
Design and management strategies for gyms and fitness centres
Design / maintenance strategies Avoided side eects References
Proper sealing and protection of groundwork structures The rise of radon gas and humidity Signorelli et al., 2016 [9]
Appropriate functional layout The overlap of customers and employees’
Braniš and Šafránek, 2011 [22]
Internal finishing materials smooth, easily cleanable and
free from gaps
Settlement and growth of
Buonanno et al., 2012 [36]
Suitable mechanical air ventilation system Air pollution and thermal discomfort De Antonellis et al., 2016 [37]
Openings for natural lighting and ventilation Air pollution, thermal discomfort, growth
of microorganisms
Popov VI et al., 2016 [38]
Furniture and ventilation system components not
protruding from the walls and the ceiling
Settlement and growth of dirt, dust,
bacteria and allergens
Braniš et al., 2009 [39]
Appropriate sizing of activities rooms,
avoiding rooms with excessively high ceiling
Formation of convective motions of the
De Antonellis et al., 2016 [37]
Structure equipped for ensuring accessibility to disable
people, if only to a minimum number of rooms, and
participation to selected typology of courses.
Accessibility forbidden for disable users Brandizzi and Carbone, 2004 [21]
Monitoring air temperature and humidity Microclimate discomfort Sacks and Shendell, 2014 [40]
Programming cleaning measures and maintenance of
force air recycling systems
Settlement/growth of bacteria and
microorganism and air pollution
Bouzgarou et al., 2013 [26]
Cleaning locals and equipment with specific products
which limit the dispersal of polluting agents in the air
Air pollution inside the environments Alves et al., 2014 [29]
Hygienic and design issues in gyms
Original art icl es and rev ie ws
for the designer who needs to plan this kind of struc-
ture, as summarized in Table 2. Furthermore, the results
achieved show how poor indoor air quality is often not
due to an incorrect design or a careless choice of mate-
rials and furniture, but to inadequate maintenance and
management of the structure operated by the manager.
For this reason, it was possible to obtain some man-
agement indications useful for keeping locals in good
conditions of indoor comfort.
In conclusion, the tool has shown to be very useful on
at least two aspects: on one hand as a mean for under-
standing designer trends (and typologies of structures)
on the territory, and on the other as a tool for the sur-
veillance of the quality of health promotion spaces.
Authors’ contribution
All authors contributed equally in the preparation of
this manuscript.
Conicts of interest statement
The authors declare that there is no conict of inter-
est regarding the publication of this paper.
Data availability statement
The data used to support the ndings of this study are
included in the article.
Received on 4 November 2018.
Accepted on 27 June 2019.
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... x due to the historical nature of the structures, different entrances need to be used: at least one of them should be fully accessible with ramps and technological solutions suitable for the inclusiveness of the users; x to facilitate the separation of paths and to increase the accessibility of the oratory and sports spaces through the use of existing secondary accesses; x to implement wayfinding between indoor and outdoor spaces (wall and/or floor) with maps, graphic indications and tactile guidelines; x to renovate some existing underused sports facilities such as theatre halls or gyms, transforming them into multifunctional spaces including support spaces (locker rooms, storage, etc.) that can operate at different times of the day [16]; x to integrate covers and/or technological elements to create shaded outdoor areas during the summer season to promote more gathering spaces for users; x to ensure homogeneous outdoor lighting to promote safety and security of all the areas at different times of the day; x to maintain the outdoor areas and to integrate them with play areas for children and seating for users to promote community social aggregation. Community social inclusion improvement: ...
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