July 19th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Scientist: Tae Bo workout sent skyscraper shaking

Seventeen people performing a vigorous Tae Bo workout caused tremors that forced the evacuation of a South Korean skyscraper earlier this month, the building's owners say.

Prime Group, owner of the 39-story TechnoMart commercial-residential high-rise in Seoul, said 17 middle-aged people were working out to the pop song "The Power" by Snap on July 5 when their movements set the upper floors of the tower shaking for 10 minutes, according to a report from the Korea JoongAng Daily.

Scientists recreated the event in the 12th floor gym, according to a report in the Korea Times.

“We observed the vibrometer while performing the same kind of aerobic exercise that was performed at the time of the shaking which occurred on July 5. We noticed that the shaking was felt in the upper floors while the exercise was being performed while no other place showed signs of tremor,” Chung Lan, a professor of architectural engineering at Dankook University, told the Korea Times.

“It just happens to be that the vibration cycle caused by Tae Bo collided with the vertical vibration cycle unique to the building,” Chung told the Korea Times. The action amplified the building's vibration and caused the shaking, he said.

Chung was one of six professors from the Architectural Institute of Korea who inspected the building and recreated the Tae Bo exercise.

Tae Bo is a mixture of boxing and tae kwon do.

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Filed under: South Korea • World
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. weesnaw

    I blame Billy Blanks. 🙁

    July 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Benny

    I can tell you all the REAL REASON for this occurance in One Word:

    !!! CHUCK NORRIS !!!

    July 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      That hasn't been funny since 2006.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bride of chuckie

      That's two words, actually.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chorris

      'Chuck Norris' is two words.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      To those of you who doubt that "Chuck Norris" is actually two words... I dare you to say that to his face!

      July 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian Webster

      To those of you who still say pathetic Chuck Norris jokes (Benny, *ahem), I dare you to not do it anymore!

      July 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      For the record "Chuck Norris" is actually two names and not words at all....

      July 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      When Chuck Norris jumps in water, he does not get wet. the water gets Chuck Norris.....

      Darn! I lost again!

      July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      "one" word = Chuck and Norris or did you mean Chuck OR Norris OR, hahahaha, just funny. You must've gone to the same school I did ....... at Fisher-Price U.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      Just a few fan favorites...

      Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell Chuck Norris stories.
      Graveyards originally had "Chuck Norris was here" signs but everyone knew that.
      Chuck Norris once urinated in a semi truck's gas tank as a joke....that truck is now known as Optimus Prime.
      Chuck Norris once arranged his M&M's in alphabetical order.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • theladiesman

      Ever notice that "The most interesting man in the world" and Chuck Norris have so much in common? I swear they're brothers.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      @theladiesman – There was in fact a DNA test of the two to confirm this where the lab techs were all women. Unfortunately their blood smells like cologne known to be irresistable to all women. The "love scene" in Black Swan was loosly based on this. =P

      July 19, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack La Lame

    Exercise is dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • V. P.

      Now that's funny LOL!!!! Thanks I needed that

      July 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob

    Is this a publicity stunt for workout videos?

    July 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Usaywha?

    How heavy were those 17 people??

    July 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crys

      It happened in Korea and not the US. So, I'm going to guess that they weren't that big.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      it's not their weight. it's just the vibration caused by the activity. if they had used another song or done maybe step aerobics or something, the vibration frequency would have been different and it wouldn't have happened. total coincidence.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      You had to have seen some of those people, I think they refer to themselves as SUMO. LOL

      July 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Do you think that "middle aged" is nice-speak for over weight ?

      July 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. aleph

    I heard of Tesla Nicolas invented an earth quake machine, that can detect the vibration frequency of an building, and then start to send out the wave that harmonize with the building, and with little power or energy, it can bring down the building. What happens in this case is just a confirmation that this kind of machine is possible!

    July 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • you're so smart...

      "I heard of Tesla Nicolas invented an earth quake machine, that can detect the vibration frequency of an building, and then start to send out the wave that harmonize with the building, and with little power or energy, it can bring down the building. What happens in this case is just a confirmation that this kind of machine is possible!"

      Mythbusted

      July 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Tesla was a genius. While I don't know about this, he did come up with a lot of things that still, 100 years later, will blow your mind.

      July 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason K

      The story you are referring to happened in New York City in a building where Tesla was conducting experiments on vibration. Something very similar to this story happened and Tesla theorized that he could have brought down the building by finding the right vibrational frequency with little actual force. Mythbusters did find on their show that they were able begin making a suspension bridge vibrate. Much of Tesla's studies however revolve around electricity though. You can thank him for Alternating Current (AC). During the beginning age of electricity, Edison and Tesla often sparred over the delivery of power to devices. Edison was all about Direct Current (DC) like the batteries we use today, while Tesla was a proponent about using generators to move vast amounts of electricity to multiple devices at once. He was so ahead of his time, that popular fiction up till the 40s even mainly depicted him as a mad scientist.

      July 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BlackDynamite

    Damn!
    Fat girls and Van Halen's "Jump!" don't mix!
    BD

    July 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. eg

    yes

    July 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bruce H

    A ton of mass moving rhythmically one-third of the way up a tall structure is bound to have some physical effect on the building, especially one built to withstand earthquakes and move on its foundations.

    Rhythmic oscillations of structures are classic in engineering, such as the "Galloping Girty" bridge that failed.

    July 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rod

    Wow I hope a real quake never hits if kids working out in a gym can cause the upper floors to shake. Would they like the Americans to come over and help them build something structurally sound? We buy enough junk from them maybe they would purchase something of quality from us.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      WOW Rod, now the whole world knows that you did not understand the article that you read. Nice going there chump

      July 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • randumbguy

      It's a ddho (damped driven harmonic oscillator). You have to take an earthquake, do a Fourier transform to get the power spectrum and then see how that lines up with the oscillatory freq in order to figure out safety. Geesh - it's just math. If the resonsance is far away from the power in a quake then you are safe. There must be a lot of high frequency power in the earth quake so you'll never build a building that doesn't have some stimulable harmonic.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel M

      Read this blog entry again, slower this time. Then allow several minutes for the conveyed information to sink into your cranium. If you've done this correctly, understanding will shortly follow.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • joeburger292yahoo.com

      @Rod, strucurally sound? The WTC was structurally sound? Quality from the U.S.? Like what? American cars? I'm an american also, but your foot in the mouth comment's although seeming patriotic is rather idiotic.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      WTC was structurally sound.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Earnest T Bass

    Vibrometer? I want one of those.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      Oddly enough... So does every woman reading this article...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barry

    I guess they weren't just come out and say a sybian machine did it. Tae Bo, lol.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • smashly

      awesome...

      July 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      Seconded!

      Dave Lampert was a brave, brave man.

      July 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. conradshull

    Better stick to tai chi.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jimmy

    This reminds me of the time the wife and I were doing it on a lawn chair and it collapsed under us. We must've had the right frequency going.

    July 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Benny

      I'm sorry Jimmy. We all know you are lying. You mentioned "doing it" and "wife" in the same sentance. Easy tell!

      July 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ShamWowGuy

    They probably should cancel the Shake Weight class next Monday...

    July 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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