Cindy Rittenberry, the customer service manager at Kiefer USA, shares the importance of shock absorption when choosing flooring.
When it comes to choosing flooring for your health club, do you ever consider the shock absorption?
What is it? It’s 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 shock absorption, vertical deformation, ball bounce and sliding effect. Once achieved, they are divided into five classes ranging from C1 to C5.
- C1 ranging from ≥10% to ≤21%, ideal for classrooms and some multi-purpose.
- C2 ranging from ≥22% to ≤33%, ideal for multi-purpose and sports activities.
- C3 ranging from ≥34% to ≤45%, ideal for competitive sports and sport activities.
- C4 ranging from ≥46% to ≤57%, ideal for aerobics and high impact training.
- C5 ranging from ≥58%, ideal for custom solutions.
Ideally, you want the absorption for your floor to be between 22% and 40% depending on the type of activity being performed.
You may think that the only flooring in your club that would need this 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 — both sports that require excellent shock absorption to prevent major injuries common in repetitive training activities. Your dance studios include classes such as Group X, yoga or Pilates where comfort and absorption are extremely important. Running is a series of controlled impacts on the ground, so the ideal surface should provide enough 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, ask the flooring company what the shock absorption is and determine if that percentage is right for the type of area in your club.
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