Green cleaning services are the ideal complement for maintaining the health and safety of your gym, as well as your employees and customers.
Cleaning Services for Gyms and Health Clubs
Gyms and health clubs, monuments to our pursuit of idealized health, are hotspots for germs and infectious disease.
Sweaty environments are breeding grounds for bacteria, so the chances are high that most of the equipment and facilities are covered, from top to bottom, in everything from E.coli to Staph.
While the presence or enforcement of any cleaning standards may, in general, be oddly lax, State and Federal sanitation regulations will apply for clubs with pools, spas, or where food products are served, to avoid the heightened risk of germ and bacteria transfer and infection.
Unfortunately, commercial sanitizers and disinfectants, especially bleach, can cause additional health problems in sensitive groups, or after prolonged exposure and can contribute to asthma symptoms and respiratory inflammation, resulting in a reduced capacity for physical performance; the opposite of what you want in a health club.
Gym members contribute to the problem even further by introducing germs and bacteria through unwashed equipment, unlaundered clothing, especially shoes, and poor personal hygiene.
Fortunately, there are several cost-effective strategies that gym owners and health club managers can take to keep your facilities safe and healthy for everyone.
Germs in Gyms
Germs and bacteria run rampant through gyms, which commonly contain, or cause:
- Hepatitis A
- Pseudomonas (Pinkeye)
- Tinea Pedis (Athletes Foot)
- Klebsiella, and;
These germs and diseases are spread by various means but, by far and large, they are brought in from the outside, typically on the bottom of member shoes, and allowed to fester, unchecked, due to poor cleaning practices.
A study conducted by FitRated found high levels of bacteria on exercise bikes, treadmills, and free weights, including:
- Gram-Positive Cocci
- Gram-Negative Rods
- Gram-Positive Rods, and;
The study concluded by comparing the results with previously measured Colony-Forming Units (CFU's) on other everyday items.
The average exercise bike harbors 39 times more bacteria than a cafeteria tray.
Typical free weights have 362 times more germs than a toilet seat.
And the treadmill you’re running on averages 74 times more bacteria than a typical public bathroom faucet.
Cleaning Product Health Concerns
In general, the purpose of going to a health club is to get healthy, not sick.
Many of the cleaning chemicals on the market are incredibly toxic and, if not handled properly, will negatively affect the short and long-term health of those who come into contact with it.
One of the most commonly used disinfectants is chlorine-based bleach, which can be extremely toxic, as well as release a significant volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, negatively impacting the indoor air quality, and negatively affecting the exercise performance of members.
According to research conducted by the Environmental Health Science & Research Bureau, Health Canada;
Exposure to higher concentrations of air pollution was associated with higher resting blood pressure and lower ventilatory function.
Ozone was associated with reduced exercise capacity.
Green Cleaning Tips for Gym and Health Club Managers
- If your club issues towels, keep them up front and away from the dirty towel bin. For an additional level of safety, keep them behind the counter and only issue them via an employee.
- Place walkway and entry mats at primary entrances and exits, as well as outside of gyms and restrooms to prevent as many microbes as possible from entering the facility. Make sure the mats are cleaned regularly with a HEPA filtered vacuum to avoid knocking the germs into the indoor air.
- Establish DIY cleaning stations with Green Seal certified green disinfectants and microfiber towels, and encourage members to wipe down equipment before and after use.
- Use microfiber brooms on all hard floors, and microfiber mops on gym mats, combined with a biodegradable and non-toxic sanitizer.
- Wipe down all equipment at the end of the day with microfiber towels and a Green Seal certified disinfectant.
- Check on restrooms and showers at regular intervals, and investigate automated, touchless, self-cleaning systems, such as UV lighting, to reduce the volume of bacteria present, as well as the time required to clean.
- Make sure to pay close attention to the cleanliness of the business management offices as well, specifically the electronic and communication equipment, which are hotbeds for germs and virus'.
- Place liquid hand sanitizer at regular intervals throughout the complex, and encourage member use, especially after handling free weight equipment.
- Closely monitor the indoor air quality of the building to ensure ozone levels are not adversely affecting your members' health and performance. Use high-performance HEPA HVAC filters, and have your air ducts serviced regularly to provide the highest standards of hygiene.
- Post member health and safety rules/guidelines around the facility, and train employees to recognize the signs of poor hygiene and gym etiquette, and how to coach members toward a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
References & Resources
- Germs at the Gym
- Avoid Gym Germs
- The 7 Grossest Gym Germs
- How Clean Must My Gym Be, Legally?
- What You Don’t Know About the Germs in Your Gym
Gyms and health clubs are great places to get in shape but, unfortunately, due to poorly conceived cost-cutting measures, wind up being petri dishes for infectious disease, germs, and bacteria.
Green cleaning services are a cost-effect solution to the challenges that face health club facilities, with scientifically-backed performance metrics that contribute to substantial health improvements.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of green cleaning services for your gym or health club needs, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790