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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

ukactive urges gym-goers to follow hygiene advice following C4 investigation

The risk of catching an infection from visiting a health club is "extremely low" despite a Channel 4 programme investigation that found some gym equipment had more types of bacteria on them than a toilet seat.

ukacative said its Code of Practice highlighted cleanliness and hygiene and that health club operators provided antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers to clean down equipment after use.

On Monday evening (19 June), How To Stay Well asked the question "Are gyms bad for us?" Presenter Dr Javid Abdelmoneim wanted to find out if people were putting their health at risk by exercising in a gym.

Bacterial hotspots include surface areas such as weights, exercise mats, and running machines.

The programme investigated 11 gyms across the UK and took swabs from 32 different cardio machines, exercise mats and fitness machines. Dr Abdelmoneim then took a swab from a toilet seat.

The results showed 1,200 bacteria were found on the toilet seat swab but that 430,000 bacteria were found on a swab at one of the gyms. It also found that 70 per cent of the gyms investigated had more bacteria than the toilet seat.

Gut bacteria was found on both the toilet seat and in the gyms because people had not washed their hands after using the bathroom. Worryingly, the supergug MRSA was also found in one of the gym samples. The programme went on to add that catching MRSA in the gym was extremely low risk and that gym-goers should always clean machines before and after use, cover any broken skin and wash after every session.

In response to the programme, Pete Wells, ukactive head of standards, said: "There is a strong emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene in our ukactive Code of Practice, which our health club operators adhere to and many also provide antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser to clean down equipment after use. 

"This is a situation that you would likely find in most places - particularly on public transport - and highlights a wider public health issue on the importance of regularly washing our hands, something we must all take responsibility for.

"As the programme pointed out, the risk of infection at the gym is extremely low, whereas steering clear of regular exercise poses far more serious consequences for our health, such as increased risk of heart disease, cancers and type-II diabetes. Fortunately, if we stay active and follow standard hygiene advice, we can protect ourselves from all of these eventualities."

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The risk of catching an infection from visiting a health club is "extremely low" despite a Channel 4 programme investigation that found some gym equipment had more types of bacteria on them than a toilet seat.
HAF
THUMB19881_755856.jpg
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News

ukactive urges gym-goers to follow hygiene advice following C4 investigation

The risk of catching an infection from visiting a health club is "extremely low" despite a Channel 4 programme investigation that found some gym equipment had more types of bacteria on them than a toilet seat.

ukacative said its Code of Practice highlighted cleanliness and hygiene and that health club operators provided antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers to clean down equipment after use.

On Monday evening (19 June), How To Stay Well asked the question "Are gyms bad for us?" Presenter Dr Javid Abdelmoneim wanted to find out if people were putting their health at risk by exercising in a gym.

Bacterial hotspots include surface areas such as weights, exercise mats, and running machines.

The programme investigated 11 gyms across the UK and took swabs from 32 different cardio machines, exercise mats and fitness machines. Dr Abdelmoneim then took a swab from a toilet seat.

The results showed 1,200 bacteria were found on the toilet seat swab but that 430,000 bacteria were found on a swab at one of the gyms. It also found that 70 per cent of the gyms investigated had more bacteria than the toilet seat.

Gut bacteria was found on both the toilet seat and in the gyms because people had not washed their hands after using the bathroom. Worryingly, the supergug MRSA was also found in one of the gym samples. The programme went on to add that catching MRSA in the gym was extremely low risk and that gym-goers should always clean machines before and after use, cover any broken skin and wash after every session.

In response to the programme, Pete Wells, ukactive head of standards, said: "There is a strong emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene in our ukactive Code of Practice, which our health club operators adhere to and many also provide antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser to clean down equipment after use. 

"This is a situation that you would likely find in most places - particularly on public transport - and highlights a wider public health issue on the importance of regularly washing our hands, something we must all take responsibility for.

"As the programme pointed out, the risk of infection at the gym is extremely low, whereas steering clear of regular exercise poses far more serious consequences for our health, such as increased risk of heart disease, cancers and type-II diabetes. Fortunately, if we stay active and follow standard hygiene advice, we can protect ourselves from all of these eventualities."

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The risk of catching an infection from visiting a health club is "extremely low" despite a Channel 4 programme investigation that found some gym equipment had more types of bacteria on them than a toilet seat.
HAF
THUMB19881_755856.jpg

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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Uniforms
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Lockers/interior design
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Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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