Professional cleaning and disinfection services are crucial for maintaining the health and hygiene of gyms and fitness centers.
Commercial Cleaning Services for Gyms and Fitness Centers
Gyms and fitness centers--temples to healthy bodies and minds, and host to numerous, and often dangerous, germs and bacteria.
Due to the nature of gyms and the use of the equipment and other facilities throughout the center, nearly every conceivable item and surface is considered high-contact, and a fomite, or germ hotspot.
According to Fitness Magazine;
Gyms are hotbeds of germ activity, researchers say.
Norovirus, which causes stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, can survive for a month on the surface of exercise machines.
The fungi responsible for foot infections multiply at a blinding pace in the shower.
And microbes like MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to dangerous skin infections, lurk in the locker room.
Germ Hot Spots in Gyms
Wherever there are people in gyms, there are germs.
Some of the most contaminated areas include:
- Free weights, machines, and exercise balls - Tested positive for a wide range of germs and bacteria, including MRSA.
- Locker rooms - Tested positive for staph, strep, MRSA, fecal matter, and hepatitis.
- Exercise mats - Tested positive for hepatitis A, as well as the cold and flu virus.
- 'Clean' gym towels - Tested positive for e.coli and MRSA.
- Cardio machines/Stationary bike seats - Tested positive for rhinovirus, yeast, fungi, and staph.
- Showers - Tested positive for fungi and bacteria which can lead to warts, ringworm, athletes foot and, eventually, HPV.
The Worst Gym Germs
Among the worst germs and bacteria found on the surface of gym equipment and the surrounding facilities include:
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - An uncurable disease caused by plantar warts, commonly acquired by walking around barefoot in gym showers, leading to warts on various parts of the body, including the genitals and throat, and potentially leading to cervical cancer in women, as well as penile and anal cancer in men.
- Klebsiella - A (sometimes) antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria found in human feces that is passed through direct surface or body contact, or through inhalation. When inhaled, klebsiella can lead to pneumonia. When ingested through direct contact, klebsiella can result in a blood infection and, in severe cases, meningitis.
- E.Coli - A bacteria found in human feces, spread through direct contact with contaminated persons or surfaces, typically leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and potentially pneumonia.
- Staphylococcus Aureus (Staph) - An aggressive bacteria that causes painful skin conditions, including rashes, pimples, and boils. If staph is left untreated or manages to make it deeper into the skin, it can lead to more severe infections, including pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis.
- Candida - A yeast-like fungus typically contracted in showers, locker rooms, saunas, and swimming pools, potentially leading to ringworm, athletes foot, jock itch, or vaginal yeast infections in women.
- Streptococcus Bacteria (Strep) - A bacteria most commonly associated with upper respiratory infections, specifically strep throat. Strep is spread in several ways, including inhalation of contaminated droplets from coughs and sneezes, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. Severe cases of strep infections can lead to pneumonia or impetigo.
- Influenza (Flu) - There is no cure for the flu. However, vaccines have proven marginally successful, with varying results year-to-year. Influenza is spread in several ways, either through direct contact with a contaminated surface or through inhalation of contaminated air. The flu virus is responsible for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year.
Cleaning for Health in Gyms and Fitness Centers
In regards to the cleanliness of gyms and fitness centers, two significant hurdles must be overcome:
- Issues with the adverse side effects of conventional commercial cleaning and disinfection products, and;
- The overwhelming complexity of disinfecting a wide range of three-dimensional surfaces.
As information is more readily and easily disseminated throughout the general public, consumers have become more and more demanding of environmentally and personal health-friendly products being used by the various organizations they choose to patron.
Put simply, nobody wants to roll around or get sweaty on equipment covered in film leftover from bleach or quats.
Additionally, the method in which gym equipment is cleaned and disinfected contributes to significant cross-contamination issues.
A typical example many are unaware of is the practice of placing freshly cleaned gym towels into the same cart where used gym towels were recently removed from, without sanitizing the cart first.
Conventional methods are impractical, time-consuming, and cost-prohibitive, leading to unnecessary and preventable illness.
Employing modern microfiber-based cleaning practices paired with cross-contamination prevention methods and safer-use cleaning products eliminates many of these issues.
Further, disinfecting the equipment and facility every day with an electrostatic disinfection appliance removes or kills better than 99% of illness-causing germs and bacteria in a fraction of the time of conventional methods, resulting in cleaner more hygienic facilities and healthier, happier customers.
Personal Health & Safety Tips
- Patrons of heavily-trafficked clubs are advised to bring their own towels, water bottles, and a sanitizer, as well as wash their gym bags and clothing at home regularly.
- Never go barefoot in the locker room or showers, and always keep a barrier between your skin and locker room benches or other surfaces.
- Sanitize the equipment before and after use to protect yourself and those who use the machines after you.
- Always wash your hands before going to the gym, and shower upon completion.
References & Resources
- The 7 Grossest Gym Germs
- Germs in gyms: Which popular machine is the germiest?
- Keep Your Gym Clean and Safe [Free Checklist]
Given the well-documented hazards present in modern gyms and fitness studios, in the most literal sense, referring to them as health clubs is somewhat of a misnomer.
Given the rise in information regarding the state of surface contamination in gyms and fitness centers, combined with the demand for cleaning services that focus on personal and environmental health, employing a clean for health first program is a logical business decision.
Outsourcing to a dedicated and experienced service provider is a proven method for rapidly onboarding essential infection prevention and control practices without the drawbacks and cost of attempting to maintain comparable service levels, in-house.
Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450
In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410
In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777