A gym is an abnormally damp environment where sweat creates moist conditions ideal for germs, bacteria, mould, mildew and viruses.
And while you can’t stop the sweating (which after all is the reason for a gym), you can make sure your premises are spotlessly clean at all times so that bugs and nasties don’t get the upper hand.
Typical microflora found in gymnasiums can include:
There have been a number of studies conducted into gym hygiene in recent years and their findings reinforce the need for constant vigilance by gym owners.
For example, a study commissioned by a gym equipment comparison website looked at 27 pieces of equipment at three different gyms and came up with these eye-opening findings:
And other research has shown just how costly poor hygiene (or perceived poor hygiene) can be to a gym. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has released a Guide to Health Club Cleanliness, which includes the following statistics:
While there are currently no enforceable industry standards regarding gym cleanliness in Australia, gyms do have a duty of care to provide a safe environment for their clients and staff, and most fitness industry associations have guidelines that their members are required to follow.
For example, one of the objectives of the NSW Fitness Industry Code of Practice is ‘to set a standard of service that protects the health and well-being of the consumer’. And one of the standards industry members must adhere to is to ‘ensure that all wet areas of the fitness centre are cleaned frequently and regularly in order to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and comply with occupational health and safety legislation.’
While belonging to a gym is important for general health and should not be discouraged in any way, gym members can take certain steps to reduce their personal risk of contracting an illness or infection in the following ways:
There are a lot of gyms out there seeking to claim the same clientele, so gym owners need to promote their facilities in the most positive way they can, and ideally set themselves apart from the competition.
One way to do this is to promote the high standards of cleanliness your gym insists upon. As we have seen, good hygiene is directly linked to customer satisfaction and retention rates, so making your gym the cleanest and by definition the healthiest, is likely to pay dividends.
And there are other good reasons for maintaining a clean gym environment as well. Keeping your gym equipment clean and well maintained will prolong its overall working life, whilst keeping surfaces clean and sweat-free might just prevent a slip or fall which could have public liability consequences for your business.
So, given that there’s plenty of incentive for running a spotless gym, what’s the best (and most cost-effective) way of achieving this? As a gym owner, you may find some of the following tips useful:
At Alphaclean, we know the importance of good hygiene in the fitness industry and our range of cleaning solutions will ensure you deliver a positive image and provide your customers with an enhanced fitness experience.
We supply a wide range of cleaning equipment specifically designed for gyms and fitness facilities including personal training studios, CrossFit providers, yoga and Pilates studios, aquatic centres, boxing and weightlifting gyms, and martial arts studios.
Our equipment range includes:
We also service most brands of cleaning equipment, have a range of preventative maintenance options and provide training and consultation in the use of our machines. To find out more about how we can help your gym shine, contact Alphaclean today for a free quote.