Fitness centers and gyms can be contaminated with germs, especially during cold and flu season. Cold and flu viruses can live on surfaces like free weights, mats, and treadmill handles for minutes to several hours. Other microbes, such as staphylococcus and MRSA can linger much longer.
In many fitness centers, sanitation is frequently left up to the customer. Patrons are expected to wipe down machines post workout. Gyms typically provide sanitizing spray and paper towels for this purpose, and although many people do take a moment to spray down the machine or mat they’ve been sweating on, they may not do correctly or thoroughly.
Because customers don’t always do the best job, it is critical that facility management establish a regular cleaning schedule. Machines, free weights, and other common areas should be wiped down several times a day with paper towels and cleaning solution, or, ideally with pre-soaked antibacterial wipes designed to kill a wide range of germs. Locker rooms and showers also need a thorough sanitizing regimen, and towels need to be washed with hot water and bleach and dried thoroughly.
Some gyms and fitness centers employ a professional janitorial service company to ensure the facility is being cleaned thoroughly, as well as to ensure safety and prevent illness. However, cleaning and sanitation usually falls on facility employees, who may not be properly trained in sanitation and germ prevention. This means that machines, mats, and common areas are likely not being cleaned properly.
Whether you are utilizing employees to clean your facility, or employing a professional janitorial services company, it is important to make sure they are properly trained/licensed, and are maintaining a routine cleaning schedule. Also, be sure they’re covering all areas of the facility – including reception, saunas, and locker rooms.