Aug 14th
2019

Health and sickness

Written by  Justin Thomas - Media Consultant
Health and sickness

You are in the zone. Every inch of you is at the threshold of pain, your breathing burns, but the rush of dopamine is numbing the pain, you know you can keep going but your body tells you to stop. You push through, your vision clears and you look at your watch to see where you are at and, checking against your personal best, you stop. The very next thing you do might stop your next week’s worth of gains. You take your hands off the equipment, pick up your towel and wipe yourself down. What did you touch just before you picked up your towel?

Let’s rewind 10 minutes before you started this particular part of your training session. You are not alone in the gym, even if you see no one there. Traces of every human to pass through your gym are there, on the equipment, on the water fountain, on the bench, on the shower floor and taps, on everything! In fact the disgusting truth is that of 2,000 gym users surveyed:

  • Roughly 3/4 do not wipe down the equipment
  • Roughly 1/2 admitted to using another person’s towel or water bottle
  • Roughly 1/4 work out while sick
  • Roughly 1/4 wear dirty workout gear

Worse still, it might actually be said to be true that a public toilet could be a better place to work out as:

  • Free weights have more than 360 times more germs than a toilet seat
  • Treadmills have over 70 times more bacteria than a public toilet tap
  • Exercise bikes are more than 35 times dirtier than a food court tray

Still with me or did you head off to pack some anti-bac wipes into your gym bag? Let’s just list the potential bacteria you can expect to pick up at the gym (not the first “pick up” thought at the gym….); salmonella, flu, rhinoviruses (colds), dermatophytosis (fungal infections). To think, everybody looks so healthy! If you haven’t already packed that anti-bac you know you will now. So what should your new routine look like?

  • Make sure your workout clothes are washed as soon as possible after a workout, NEVER leave them in your kit bag.
  • Shower immediately after finishing your workout, making sure you wear a pair of flip-flops in the changing room.
  • Sit on your towel when sitting on benches at the gym.
  • Use the provided wipe-down materials (paper towels, anti-bac spray, foam or liquid, etc) both before and after using any equipment.
  • Never touch your face during a workout except with your own towel.
  • Use your own work out mat and keep it clean.

If you do not have provided wipe-down materials you have a number of choices:

  • Discuss the issue with the gym management
  • Find a new gym that does have a decent hygiene policy
  • Carry your own wipe-down equipment

Finally Zenith Washrooms would like to provide the following advice for our fitness clients:

  • Try to incorporate air purification systems and improve ventilation throughput to reduce the breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi
  • Create rigid cleaning schedules and make cleaning a part of your trainers’ schedules as well as your cleaning staff schedules
  • Educate your users about the risks of poor gym hygiene and give them ownership and make it the “right thing” to do by providing regular signage near equipment and posting some of these statistics in prominent places (backs of changing room doors, on washroom mirrors, etc)
  • Ensure that washrooms are dehumidified and kept as dry as possible to lower the risk of bacteria and fungal growth
  • Utilise hospital grade cleaning products with at least 10% bleach
  • Create regular “wipe-down” stations in strategic locations throughout the gym including paper towels and anti-bacterial liquids or foams.

Give Zenith Washrooms a call today and find out how we can upgrade your facility’s hygiene whilst managing your ongoing service costs.

Justin Thomas - Media Consultant

Justin Thomas has been involved with Zenith Washroom Solutions (formerly ABC hygiene) since 2009. At first providing ABC hygiene's 2nd web solution then guiding Zenith Washrooms' online presence. This exploits the latest technologies whilst focusing on user experience improvements from the core.

During the past decade Justin has learned a huge amount about the hygiene industry through this work. Now Justin is a contracted media consultant to Zenith Washrooms. This provides a full range of online marketing solutions to Zenith Washrooms. This provides Zenith Washrooms to focus on providing a leading hygiene services solution for their customers.

Justin provides online media presence for a number of small technical businesses based in the UK. Justin lives with his wife and daughter enjoying a wide range of activities. Core being motorcycle maintenance, cooking, music and being a tech geek.

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