When it comes to cleanliness, every business needs to be careful about maintaining high standards, however, gyms and fitness centres must be especially vigilant. Damp and moist, gyms provide the ideal breeding ground for a variety of germs, bacteria, mould, mildew and viruses to grow and thrive. Not only important for the health and safety of staff and clients, statistics have shown that if a gym is perceived to be unclean, customer satisfaction rates fall from 83% to 43% and customer retention rates fall from 90% to 52%. Cleaning Edge has been the cleaning contractor of choice for gym and leisure businesses across Australia for over 12 years. Read on for our guide to gym cleanliness.
Common Germs Found in Gyms
- Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) – a common bacterium that lives on the skin and is capable of causing a range of mild to severe infections.
- Staphylococcus saprophyticus – bacteria that is a leading cause of urinary tract infections.
- Salmonella – a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including fever, diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Influenza – an airborne virus that spreads to the respiratory tract where it multiplies.
- Rhinoviruses – viruses that cause many types of common colds and upper respiratory infections.
- Dermatophytosis – a fungal infection of the skin also known as ringworm, tinea, jock itch (when around the groin) or athlete’s foot (when on the feet).
Where Are Germs Found in Gyms?
There are some areas of gyms and fitness facilities that can be a magnet for bacteria, viruses and infections. Some of the high-risk areas are:
- Weights, weight machines and exercise balls – often this equipment isn’t cleaned as frequently as other fitness equipment. Recent research has even shown that free weights can have up to 362 times more germs than a toilet seat!
- Exercise mats – mats are continually exposed to sweat and can often remain damp making them a hotspot for microbes that can cause skin infections such as athletes’ foot, cold & flu and Hepatitis A.
- Cardio machines – while sweaty treadmills, elliptical machines and spinning bikes are usually wiped down after each use, they aren’t always subject to thorough sanitation of all parts.
- Changing rooms – often humid and damp from sweat and showers, changing rooms provide the perfect environment for the growth of viruses and infections.
- Showers – similar to changing rooms, showers are also the perfect environment for bacteria and mould to grow. Fungi and other organisms found in unclean showers can cause infections like athletes’ foot.
Tips for Keeping a Gym Clean
Maintaining a high level of gym cleanliness not only leads to increased customer satisfaction and retention, it will lead to healthy environment for staff and clients, ensure a safe environment with the likelihood of slips and trips minimised and it will also help to prolong the life of gym equipment. So, what are the best ways to keeping a gym spotlessly clean?
Implement a strict cleaning schedule – this should include hourly cleaning tasks such as rubbish removal and spot cleaning equipment, daily tasks like vacuuming, wiping down and disinfecting equipment and cleaning showers, toilets and changing rooms. Weekly tasks that should be included are checking for wear and tear in equipment, mopping and scrubbing floors, deep cleaning carpets, and washing of windows.
Educate your staff and customers about the importance of cleanliness in your gym – Staff should be trained in the proper ways to clean all gym equipment and be made aware of the particular areas they need to pay extra attention to. Make it clearly known with signage that your gym is a clean and healthy facility and provide hand sanitiser and sanitation sprays for customers to wipe down equipment after use.
Use the right cleaning equipment – Health clubs, gyms and fitness centres have niche cleaning needs that require customised solutions formulated specially to respond to the key cleaning challenges they experience. Ensure you use cleaning products and equipment that have been specifically designed for the fitness industry.
At Cleaning Edge, we are committed to providing and maintaining high standards of cleaning within the fitness industry. We understand the importance of providing a safe, hygienic and clean environment for all customers and staff so we use innovative sanitising techniques and industry-leading cleaning products. Give us a call today for a free quotation.