Poor hygiene puts gym goers at risk

13 Dec 2012

The health benefits of working out at the gym could be undermined by the poor hygiene etiquette of fellow users, new research has revealed.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of gym goers have observed bad behaviour such as fitness fanatics failing to wipe down sweaty equipment after use, according to a poll by Nuffield Health.

Almost 50% of those quizzed confessed they had used an item in the gym that was not theirs, the survey found.

While it can be tempting to borrow towels, water bottles and toiletries, such behaviour could pass on colds and flu, as well as unpleasant fungal infections like athletes foot.

Exercisers are also bad at staying at home when ill, with 18% admitting they had visited the gym with runny noses, coughs and sneezing.

Sarah Marsh, head of fitness and wellbeing at Nuffield Health, said: "Yes, it's unpleasant when the person before you hasn't wiped their sweat off the machine they've been using.

"But the health implications of this and the other hygiene issues our study revealed can be more wide ranging."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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