We were on an a volunteer mission for 2 1/2 days to demolish a couple of rooms in a large facility to prepare the space for a homeless shelter. Our ages are 42, 68, 70, and 76, and we are all very, very fit for our ages. By the way, there is no swearing or whining in this particular group.
I'll bet that someone said, "Are you okay?" about every 3 minutes. When we dropped something, stumbled, almost stepped on a nail, tried to lift debris that was heavier than we expected, got a drop of sweat in the eye, cough from the plaster dust, even had trouble getting a glove off so we could get a sip of coffee or water, there was an unconscious "oof", "woops", "oo", "uh-oh" from the 'victim'. No one really needed help or got hurt, so it was always, "Fine, thanks," but I had to laugh because of this thread.
The job got done, we are all pleased, no one is worse than tired (and pleased with a job well-done), so all is well.
So I am even more convinced that the gasps are nearly unconscious, and the polite "are you okay?" is similarly unconscious but well-meant.