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Consider Shock Absorption When Choosing Flooring

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shock absorption

When it comes to choosing flooring for your health club, do you ever consider shock absorption? What is shock absorption? It is having the ability to absorb the energy of an impact, also known as force reduction. Why is this feature so important in flooring?

Shock absorption is a major contributor to playability. Not only does it make flooring more comfortable, it can also help protect the joints of lower extremities, prevent fatigue and provide energy return when members are participating in any type of athletic activity.

Shock absorption is evaluated under testing standard ASTM F2772. To meet the standard, floors are evaluated on the following four sports criteria: shock absorption, vertical deformation, ball bounce and sliding effect. 

Once achieved, they are divided into five classes of shock absorption, ranging from Class 1 to Class 5:

  • Class 1 (C1) ranges from ≥10% to ≤21%, and is ideal for classrooms and some multi-purpose.
  • Class 2 (C2) ranges from ≥22% to ≤33%, and is ideal for multi-purpose and sports activities.
  • Class 3 (C3) ranges from ≥34% to ≤45%, and is ideal for competitive sports and sport activities.
  • Class 4 (C4) ranges from ≥46% to ≤57%, and is ideal for aerobics and high impact training.
  • Class 5 (C5) ranges from ≥58% and up, and is ideal for custom solutions.

Ideally, you want the shock absorption for your floor to be between 22 to 40%, depending on the type of activity being performed.

You may think the only flooring in your club that would need good shock absorption is in a weight room, but that is not true. Think about your dance studios, training areas, gymnasiums and running tracks. All of these areas in your club are being used for different activities where injuries can and do occur.

Gymnasiums are mainly used for basketball and volleyball, and both of those sports require excellent shock absorption to prevent major injuries common in repetitive training activities. Your dance studios include classes like Group X, yoga or Pilates where comfort and shock absorption are extremely important.

Running is a series of controlled impacts on the ground, so the ideal surface should provide enough shock absorption to avoid injury, especially to the ankles, knees and ligaments.

So if you’re thinking about replacing the flooring in your health club or choosing flooring for a new club, remember to consider the importance of shock absorption. Whether you choose hardwood flooring, rubber flooring or recycled rubber flooring, make sure you ask the flooring company what the shock absorption is and determine if that percentage is right for the type of area in your club.

Cindy Rittenberry is the director of catalog/inside sales at Kiefer USA. For more information, call 800.322.5448 or email cindy@kieferusa.com.

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