A pandemic prevention strategy is about to be implemented in the South Korean capital’s gyms: slower music will be played in the gyms.
The Ministry of Health is putting in place a number of new measures as the country continues to battle an outbreak that has seen the number of daily cases rise dramatically since late June.
According to new rules in the capital Seoul, specific workout classes such as spinning and aerobics are not permitted to play music that is faster than 120 beats per minute (BPM), because “harsh breathing from intense activities can spatter a lot of saliva,” according to a news release from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
That means that songs like Swedish House Mafia’s “Antidote” or Skrillex’s “Bangarang,” which are both above 120 BPM, — as well as slightly faster songs like Armin Van Buuren’s “Blah Blah Blah” — are not allowed to be played in public.
The rule has been implemented in the capital Seoul to ensure that those who attend gyms do not sweat excessively or breathe excessively, in order to reduce the spread of the virus and keep Korean businesses open during the ongoing flu outbreak there. This means that many popular K-Pop songs will not be played in gyms as a result of this decision.
An owner of a fitness center in South Korea explained that their members and the overall mood are lifted by playing upbeat music, his biggest concern is whether playing classical music or songs by BTS has been shown to have any effect on the spread of the virus. After all, many people these days use their own earphones and wearable devices, and how do people keep track of their playlists?
Much of the workout music on the market today is faster than the 120 BPM threshold, and much of South Korea’s own K-pop is faster than that threshold as well.
In addition, Kim Yong-Tae, a member of the People Power Party, spoke out against the changes, pointing out their inconsistencies.
“So if you walk slower than 6km/h, you won’t get Covid-19, and who on earth checks the BPM of the songs when you’re working out? It is beyond me what the pandemic has to do with my musical preferences.” he said.
South Korea’s president expressed his sympathy for small businesses that have suffered as a result of the restrictions that the country has put in place, and he pleaded with citizens to exercise “a little more patience.”