How NPBI is being used to fight COVID-19 in fitness clubs

Following a successful trial in Israel, Holmes Place fitness clubs are poised to introduce needlepoint bipolar ionisation (NPBI®)  to air filter systems throughout their chain. 

Gyms and health clubs are among the businesses most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as they are thought to be one of the more high-risk environments for the transmission of COVID-19.

As Israel eases out of its third national lockdown, the impetus has been placed on fitness clubs such as Holmes Place to take measures to protect patrons in order to allow them to open safely.

Most gyms have introduced new ventilation measures and regular cleaning schedules, but the introduction of NBPI air purification helps Holmes Place fitness clubs to take a more significant step forward in the protection of their customers and employees.

NBPI technology has been proven to neutralise up to 99.9%+ of pathogens, including SARS COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (it is important to note that no medical claims are made).

Keren Shtevy, Homes Place CEO, says:

“The Holmes Place Group is currently preparing for the exit from the third lockdown and the opening of the gyms in accordance with the agreement and promise we received from the health minister,”

 “As part of this preparation, we are making every effort to produce in clubs the healthiest and cleanest spaces from bacteria and viruses for our trainees. 

“In recent months, I have chosen a number of alternatives and after being convinced that the GPS (Global Plasma Solutions – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of air quality systems) system will provide the best solution for air purification and surfaces in our fitness clubs, we started a pilot in five clubs across the country. The pilot results were amazing, so I decided that the system would be installed in more clubs of the group for the benefit of the trainees.”

Why do fitness clubs need to take extra measures?

As part of a report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers traced a series of confirmed cases of COVID-19 back to a nationwide fitness dance class.

The study concluded that the moist, warm air of fitness environments, combined with the irregular air flow caused by people exercising in close quarters, creates an ideal environment for infected droplets to spread.

Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 is mainly spread via respiratory droplets.

These are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes heavily and usually occurs when an infected person is in direct or close contact with other people.

For gyms and fitness clubs, a bigger concern is aerosol transmission.

Airborne transmission occurs because the smallest respiratory droplets (aerosols) are able to linger in the air for longer, and travel greater distances.

Dr Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, said:

“When people breathe more rapidly and more deeply, they expel greater numbers of droplets,

“Based on recent research, aerosolized droplets can remain airborne for up to 3 hours, making the potential for spread in crowded and confined spaces such as fitness studios problematic.”

This makes aerosol transmission a higher risk in places like fitness clubs because they are often indoors, crowded and people tend to spend a significant amount of time there.

There are three main stages to creating a COVID-safe environment in gyms:

One – limit how much of the virus is present in the air

The majority of gyms have stepped up their cleaning regimens in the wake of the pandemic.

However, while it is fairly simple to clean surfaces using disinfectants, cleaning the air is a different story.

Linsey Marr, a Virginia Tech engineer who studies the airborne spread of viruses, says:

“Cleaning the air is at least as important as cleaning surfaces, but you do it very differently,” 

“We end up having to breathe whatever it is we spray. And if it’s harmful to the virus, it’s likely it’s also harmful to us. So we need to take a totally different approach.”

The best way to keep the air in any space clean is to limit the sources of infection present in the first place.

This means social distancing, lowering capacity for every room/class and having measures to prevent infected people entering the gym. These could include temperature checks and rapid response testing for staff and/or customers.

Two – ventilate

Ventilation is the easiest and most effective way to reduce the concentration of airborne virus particles in any indoor setting, outside of source control.

Ventilation means increasing the amount of outdoor air in an indoor space.

Since COVID-19 is still a fairly new virus, scientists cannot agree on how much of the virus needs to be present in order to be transmitted. Therefore it is essential to ventilate an indoor space as much as is possible, in order to dilute the air and lessen the risk to occupants.

It is important to note that, because ventilation is difficult to regulate, this alone is not enough to make a fitness club covid-secure. In fact, there are reports of badly-designed ventilation systems being the cause of COVID-19 outbreaks.

This is why air purification is an essential next step.

Three – purify the air

The Airius PureAir+ NPBI Series features Global Plasma Solutions’ patented needlepoint bipolar ionisation technology to generate positive and negative ions. These occur naturally in our air and are found in their highest concentrations in rural areas and near bodies of moving water.

Ions work as natural cleaning agents and capture airborne particles, bonding with them and altering them on a cellular level to render them inert and harmless.

Bipolar ionisation has been used in medical settings for decades thanks to its ability to clean the air without leaving harmful by-products such as those found in chemical cleaning or ozone-producing purification technologies.

The PureAir+ NPBI Series contains unique needlepoint modules that are able to neutralise and remove up to 99% of all common pathogens (including COVID-19), germs, bacteria, gases, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), mould and odours.

The PureAir+ combines GPS’ industry-leading NPBI purification technology and Airius’ patented columnar laminar airflow circulation, ensuring that the active cleaning agents are circulated quickly and continuously throughout any internal space.

NPBI air purification systems are in use at more than 300,000 businesses and organisations in the US, including the White House. 

For gyms and fitness clubs everywhere, this technology offers an incredibly efficient, effective and simple way for businesses to keep their staff and customers safe.

Tested & Trusted

NPBI Accreditation Logos

Multiple studies have been conducted on the NPBITM technology integrated into the Airius PureAir+ Series range, supporting the efficacy and effectiveness of NPBITM systems for pathogen neutralisation, particle reduction and odour elimination.

  • •  Installed through out all industries, including Healthcare, Aviation, Manufacturing, Offices, Education, Arenas, Retail outlets and many more.
  • •  Approved by the RTCA to meet the DO-160 standard for Airborne Equipment
  • •  One of the first purification systems to be tested on a live strain of SARS-CoV-2

Testing carried out by:

  • •  Innovative Bioanalysis
  • •  Harvard School of Public Health
  • •  Retroscreen Virology
  • •  Kitasato Institute Medical Centre
  • •  EMSL Analytical Inc
  • •  Green Clean Air
  • •  Calgary Int. Airport, NAV Canada
  • •  Aachen University of Applied Sciences
  • •  Medical School of Luebeck
  • •  Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control
  • •  School of Advanced Sciences, Hiroshima University

Find out more

Airius fans are commonly used to purify air and balance temperatures for both heating and cooling applications in a wide variety of environments – from offices to aircraft hangars.

Adding an Airius PureAir+ NPBI Series air purification, infection and odour control ventilation fan is a simple way to continually clean your air and surfaces, creating a safer and healthier environment for you, your staff and your building.