A new study on athletic and workout facilities shows that there could be health risks hidden in the equipment. According to an article on Action News out of Jacksonville, FitRated has released research that suggests most gym equipment harbors more bacteria than public restrooms.
The report shows results for 27 pieces of equipment commonly found in a workout facility. The study revealed that treadmills have 74-times the bacteria than a water/sink faucet in a public restroom. Meanwhile, free weights have 362-times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Especially with an increase in clientele after the holidays, cross-contamination is an issue in these athletic facilities. Thanks to an abundance of fluids and touch points, cleaning procedures should include every surface — floors, walls, vents and everything between. To supplement cleaning programs, most facilities will supply spray bottles of cleaning solution and disposable towels for clients to clean their equipment after each use.
Proper cleaning practices aren’t just hygienic, they can help encourage facility traffic. According to an earlier study by Cintas, 88 percent of adults wouldn’t exercise in a gym or athletic facility if they found it to have cleanliness issues. When asked which specific cleanliness issues would most likely prevent them from exercising or working out in a gym or athletic facility, adults reported the following:
• Unpleasant odors – 72 percent
• Dirty equipment – 71 percent
• Unclean restrooms/locker rooms – 71 percent
• Dirty floors – 55 percent
• Lack of cleaning products to wipe down equipment – 52 percent
• Spills/Stains on the floor or carpet – 46 percent
• Dusty surfaces – 36 percent