Hygiene and Health Risks in an Unclean Gym or Fitness Center
Why a clean gym matters
With January just around the corner, many gyms and fitness centers are ramping up their ad campaigns. Research shows over one-third of Americans sign up for gym memberships in January, and it comes at quite an expense. It’s no surprise therefore they expect an environment which is welcoming and importantly, clean.
Gyms and fitness centers have to be carefully and professionally cleaned to ensure they provide a safe space for working out, and not a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and health hazards. Below we’re exploring just how your local fitness center could become more of a hindrance to your health than anything else.
Bacterial Breeding Grounds
Successful gyms have high member counts, and this means high footfall. Couple this with shared equipment and you’ve got environment which is primed for bacterial growth. Uncleaned equipment, from weights to machines, and mats to benches, quickly become hotspots for bacteria to flourish. Dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli are happily at home in an unclean gym. Both these bacteria can cause skin complaints, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal concerns.
Damp and poorly ventilated areas within a gym provide an ideal environment for fungi to thrive. Locker rooms, showers, and swimming pool areas, if not regularly cleaned and disinfected, can become high risk for the spread fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. These conditions are not only uncomfortable but also highly contagious. Regularly cleaning is vital because you unfortunately cannot reply on the cleanliness and personal hygiene of your patrons.
Air Quality Control
When you visit a good gym, the air always feels fresh, clean and properly ventilated. Many have high-quality air con systems, and this is the minimum you should expect from your chosen fitness center. Sweating and heavy breathing are commonplace in the gym, it’s what you expect, but both can also release airborne particles which need to be rapidly cleaned from the air. Without proper ventilation and air circulation, gyms quickly become uncomfortable and there is a high risk of the development of mold and mildew.
Rapid Viral Spread
Viruses, particularly in the context of our current health landscape in the wake of COVID-19, can pose a significant threat in poorly maintained gyms. High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, handrails, and exercise equipment quickly become carriers for the transmission of viruses, including the flu and common colds. Without regular cleaning and disinfection, gyms can unwittingly contribute to the spread of contagious illnesses.
Unless you have your own private facility shared with no one else at all, you will have to accept that the equipment in your gym is going to be used by several people. The nature of fitness centers is sharing and a community environment so you have to accept other people will have used the machines and weights before you. However, this does lead to the increased likelihood of cross-contamination, heightening the risk of the spread of bacteria and viruses. Uncleaned surfaces often harbor pathogens which can be easily transferred from one person to the next. For example, if someone touches a contaminated surface and then wipes their face or uses their hands to adjust a machine, they risk introducing harmful bacteria or viruses into their system.
First Impressions Count
Beyond the physical health risks, the state of cleanliness in a gym can impact the mental wellbeing of its patrons and influence whether they return to the gym regularly. An unclean environment can quickly lead to discomfort, anxiety, and a reluctance to engage in any exercise. A clean and well-maintained gym, promotes a positive and inviting atmosphere, encouraging consistent attendance, and driving people towards their fitness goals.
Poor Hygiene, Damaged Reputation
An unclean fitness center won’t remain open for long. Patrons simply won’t return, or you may find the gym falls foul of the law in terms of health and safety. Furthermore, a bad reputation is not easy to come back from, and many places simply cannot attract new business even if they’re refurbished and fully cleaned. The memory of how things were before still influencers gym goers and puts them off attending.
Gym owners must prioritize hygiene and cleanliness if they want to maintain their reputation and keep their best customers. Penn Jersey provides specialized gym cleaning services to ensure Philadelphia’s gyms always look their best and patrons can comfortably work out at their chosen gym. Our service is high-quality, flexible and affordable, with a focus on ensuring the high level of cleaning necessary to keep a fitness center ready for members at any time of the day. With the increase in 24/7 gyms, we can schedule our services to suit your quietest hours and ensure you can be proud of the facility you provide.
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