This Eco-Friendly Gym Uses Human Power to Keep the Lights On

At Terra Hale, peddle power keeps the gym facilities running and any leftover energy is returned to the grid to power local businesses.

May 16, 2018

Exercising and reducing our carbon footprint are arguably two of the best things we can do to maintain a healthy and happy future (both for our bodies and for the sustenance of future generations). Now, there’s a gym in London that enables you to do both those things simultaneously.

The Terra Hale gym in Fulham, London
is powered by renewable energy; and not just any renewable energy - human-made energy. The gym generates electricity from eco-bikes that use the power of pedaling as a source of energy. A 50-minute spin class with 6 participants and an instructor can generate up to 3300 watts. An incandescent light bulb uses 60 watts an hour, so 3300 watts is a whole lot of energy that is being produced just from our evening workout.

Any surplus energy from the eco-bikes goes to feed the grid, supplying others in the neighborhood with renewable peddle-power. Terra Hale’s eco-design doesn’t stop there. The gym also uses recycled rubber for its flooring, sustainable wood for machines, and is decorated by plants, so that gym-goers have a supply of clean air for those intense workouts.  If you’re thirsty check out any of their all-natural refreshments, too.

The Terra Hale gym is not the only fitness studio that is generating man-made energy from gym-goers. California Fitness in Hong-Kong, Green Microgym in Portland Oregon, and The Great Outdoor Gym Company in England are all generating renewable energy from their equipment.

In some cases, the energy produced from a single work-out directly generates energy to power the machine. When someone gets on a stair-stepper at California Fitness, for example, the energy that is being produced directly powers a light fixture on the machine. Additional energy gets stored in a battery.

The Green Microgym in Portland is another great example of a human-powered gym. It emits only 10 percent of the carbon emissions of a conventional gym and uses 85 percent less electricity, as well.

As engineers and entrepreneurs discover new ways to harness nature’s bounty for clean energy, we shouldn’t forget that as humans we can also generate renewable energy. Now we have one more reason to hit the gym!

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.

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