South Korea new COVID protocols ban fast music in gyms

There will be no pumped up jams until vaccinations improve.

According to The Guardian, South Korean officials have forbidden gyms and other high-energy businesses from playing music with more than 120 beats per minute during group activities. Health officials reportedly believe that this will help to mitigate people from breathing too fast or splashing sweat on others, thus diminishing the spread of COVID-19.

Everyone else finds this policy completely ridiculous, not to mention unenforceable, since so many people listen to their own headphones at the gym anyway. As The Guardian notes, this Draconian measure would restrict pretty much all of the most popular workout music:

Of the current K-pop hits, BTS's Permission to Dance is 127bpm and the girl group Loona's PTT (Paint the Town) is 125bpm, but Taeyeon's Weekend is acceptable at 114bpm, as is Alcohol-Free by Twice at 96bpm.

Nearly a million people worldwide subscribe to Spotify's gym playlist You Can Do It, but none of its opening 10 tracks are under 120bpm, with High Contrast's drum'n'bass hit Time Is Hardcore topping out at 169bpm.

Among workout classics, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor clocks in at 108bpm – though it is perhaps best suited to strutting post-workout than actual cardio – while Kanye West's Stronger is 106bpm. A Flock of Seagulls' I Ran (So Far Away) is thoroughly unsuitable at 148bpm. At exactly 120bpm, Irene Cara's Flashdance … What a Feeling is a good option for law-abiding Koreans. But at 122bpm, Bob Marley's Is This Love – that's out.

South Korea's new COVID regulations also limited treadmills to speeds of 3.7 miles per hour, and officially limit ping-pong matches to two people per table.

No Permission to Dance: South Korea Covid rules enforce slower music in gyms [Ben Beaumont Thomas / The Guardian]

Image: Republic of Korea / Flickr (CC-BY-SA 2.0)