While our intent in going to health clubs is always to become healthier, what many don’t realize is that going to a public gym poses certain health risks. From equipment related injuries to contamination with bacteria and fungi, there are some health risks associated with the health clubs. It is important that you are aware of the potential hazards and dangers present in health clubs so that you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
Health Clubs and Bacterial Infections
The most common contagious bacterial infection that can be passed in health clubs is Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly referred to as “Staph”. Many high professional athletes are all too familiar with this bacterium. From Grant Hill to Peyton Manning, many athletes have suffered from infections caused by the most virulent form of this organism known as MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).
The reason that this is such an issue in health clubs is that “Staph” can live on surfaces for many days to weeks. Add this to the increasing prevalence of MRSA in the community and the fact that person after person is using the same equipment often neglecting to clean between uses, and you can see how there is a risk for widespread infections.
Practicing good hygiene habits at Health clubs can prevent contamination and spreading of disease. We welcome you to our gym and we wish to help you to go home healthier than you came.
So what do you need to know to prevent yourself from acquiring this sometimes life-threatening infection?
- Practice good hand hygiene – Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Wipe down equipment – Even if you don’t see sweat it is important to clean after use to prevent contamination of any kind
- Cover up – Keep cuts, abrasions, and scratches clean and covered with a bandage until the skin has healed
- Keep it to yourself – Don’t share personal items such as razors or towels
- Wash it off– Always shower after using public equipment which may have been exposed to the Staph bacteria (i.e. health club equipment)