Gyms in and around Seoul, the capital of South Korea, have been told not to play music at a tempo higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm) to limit the spread of Covid-19. Treadmills will be limited to a maximum of 6km/h (3.7 mph). Health officials say the restrictions will prevent people from breathing too fast or sweating at each other. However, a quick glance at the K-pop bpms shows that Blackpink fans will struggle a little harder than BTS followers.
South Korea is battling a new coronavirus outbreak, with 1,100 new cases recorded on Sunday. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum warned last Friday that the country had reached its “maximum crisis level”.
As part of the new measures, those attending exercise classes such as zumba, spin and aerobics in Seoul faced the 120bpm limit as of the beginning of this week. People were only allowed to spend two hours at a time in indoor sports facilities, and the use of showers was prohibited. In addition, all sports facilities were required to be closed until 22:00.
However, that decision has been questioned by gym owners. Kang Hyun-ku, who owns a gym in Seoul, asked if there was any evidence that choosing between classical music and BTS had an effect on the spread of the virus.
He also told Reuters that many people use their own headphones and ask, “How do you control playlists?” he said he asked. But officials said the measures are helping to prevent gyms from closing completely.
Experts said it’s hard to know if people are infected at gyms. However, figures from the UK last year showed that these areas were not a major hotspot for infections.
On the other hand, intense workouts like Zumba and CrossFit require faster music, while even brisk aerobic workouts like jogging match songs at around 120-140 bpm. So, Seoul’s new guidelines aren’t all that bad news for K-Pop fans.
Eight of the top 10 songs topped the popl chart in South Korea pass the bpm test. BTS, the country’s largest music export, is on safe ground.
The group’s two biggest hits, Butter and Dynamite, are in the 110-115 bpms range.
However, the situation is not looking good for Blackpink. All of their most famous singles hover around 130 bpm.
Meanwhile, Seoul’s restrictions on gyms came as part of a series of measures in the region that were introduced on Monday and are scheduled to last for two weeks.
In this context, meetings in closed areas were limited to two after 18:00.
Dua Lipa Silk City – Electricity (118bpm)
Robyn – Dancing On My Own (117bpm)
Doja Cat SZA – Kiss Me More (111bpm)
Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling (113bpm)
Estelle ft Kanye West – American Boy (118bpm)
Martin Jensen – Solo Dance (115bpm)
Jonas Blue ft JP Cooper – Perfect Strangers (118bpm)
Regard Raye – Secrets (119bpm)
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance (119bpm)
Stereo MC’s – Step It Up (118bpm)
Skrillex ft Sirah – Bangarang (110bpm)
Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous (114bpm)
Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk (115bpm)
Chic – Le Freak (119bpm)