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Infection Control News

Abs and arms aren’t the only things beefing up at the gym. A new study by warns that the bacteria levels on treadmills, exercise bikes and free weights “are all teeming with germs – more than 1 million per square inch apiece.”  If you’re not careful, you may get an extra unexpected result from your workout – one of many skin infections or illnesses common at gyms and health clubs today, including MRSA infections, other bacterial infections, staph infections, and fungal infections.  And if you’re a gym owner or manager, you owe it to your clients and your business to make infection control a priority in your facility.

Sources of Skin Infections at the Gym

The FitRated study was conducted at 3 gyms where 27 different pieces of fitness equipment were sampled for germs. To give you an idea on what you may encounter on your next physical workout, take a look at the graphic below:


To put it in another perspective, here is how fitness equipment compares to other familiar items. You’re reading that right:  The study found that free weights were home to 362 TIMES more bacteria than the average toilet seat.


How to Avoid Skin Infections When You’re at the Gym

This shouldn’t really come as a big surprise if you think about the vast number of people that use and share fitness equipment every single day. So how do you keep yourself clean? If you work out regularly, make sure you clean the machines before and after you use them, always wear shoes, never touch your face or eyes and shower immediately after a workout.

How to Make Your Gym or Health Club Safer from Skin Infections

If you own or operate a gym or health club, you should be taking aggressive steps to control infectious outbreaks that lead to skin infections or more serious systemic infections. All gym workout areas, locker rooms, sports equipment and mats should be cleaned and treated regularly with an effective surface sanitizer and disinfectant. Surfaces should be tested regularly to monitor sanitation levels using tools that readily detect infectious contaminants. And, if outbreaks occur, effective and immediate biological decontamination is critical to the safety of your staff and clients.

Interested in learning more about the results of the test done at gyms? Read the article Examining Gym Cleanliness at