Horrors lurking at the gym- Free weights contain 362 times more bacteria than a toilet, reveals study
While taking a trip to the gym is generally considered a good life choice, a new study has exposed the sky-high levels of dangerous bacteria lurking on equipment.
The research found that high levels of sinister bacteria including gram-positive cocci (a common cause of skin infections) and Bacillus, which can be responsible for ear, eye and respiratory infections.
Gram-negative rods, responsible for many infections and can be resistant to antibiotics, were also discovered frequently on gym equipment.
The study, conducted by fitness brand FitRated, conducted swabs of equipment at three busy gyms to determine the bacteria levels based on colony-forming units (CFU) and found that the average treadmill and exercise bike contains 1 million germs per square inch.
Free weights, including dumbbells and kettlebells were the biggest offenders on the list, with the average weight containing 362 times more bacteria than a family toilet.
The buttons on a treadmill were found to have 74 times as many germs as a tap in a public bathroom, while the average exercise bike contained 39 times more bacteria than a tray at a fast food restaurant.
Although the bacteria has potential to make one sick, there are precautions gym-bunnies can take to protect themselves from the germs.
- Disinfect machines with wipes both before and after you use them
- Never walk around barefoot
- Don’t touch your face
- Always wash your hands
- Change out of your gym clothes immediately after a workout