In case you are looking for a reason to skip the gym today, here’s a good one: Health clubs are described by doctors as breeding grounds for bacteria. Everything from MRSA to toenail fungus can be readily picked up at the gym and brought home.
The study by the fitness equipment site FitRated.com finds, after swabbing 27 pieces of gym equipment at three different gyms they found that, on average, each machine was teeming with more than one million colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria.
This will make you want to take a long shower:
- Exercise bikes are on average 39 times dirtier than a cafeteria tray
- Treadmills contain 74 times more bacteria than a public toilet faucet
- Free weights house over 362 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat
Free weights have an average of more than 1.1 million colony-forming units per square inch. In comparison, the National Sanitation Foundation says you’d find 172 CFU per square inch on a home toilet seat.
But treadmills and stationary bikes were even worse offenders, with about 7,752 times more bacteria than a home toilet seat. That’s even more than these objects with more bacteria than a toilet. Yikes!
Touching a surface with bacteria won’t necessarily make you sick. Some bacteria aren’t harmful, and others won’t do any harm in small amounts. But the fact that 70 percent of bacteria from the tested equipment FitRated.com tested were potentially harmful isn’t very comforting.
If you tend to skip wiping down your workout machine, take that extra 30 seconds before and after you use the equipment. Even if you’re not a germaphobe, you’ll be doing the rest of us a favor.
And since you can’t control what everyone else does, avoid getting sick by waiting to wipe your sweaty brow until you’ve washed your hands.
“Your best defense is to be aware of washing your hands post workout and before eating or touching your face,”
Kelly Reynolds, microbiologist and associate professor at the Zuckerman College of Public Health in Arizona, tells HuffPost. Oh, and don’t you dare rewear your sweaty clothes without doing laundry.
Source: RD.com & FitRated.com