13 Secrets Gyms Will Never Tell You
Your Dumbbell Has 362 Times More Germs Than a Toilet Seat
Prepare to be even more repulsed by fitness clichés because the 'eat clean, train dirty' mantra has never been more true. That is, unfortunately, due to new research revealing that your favourite squat rack, your ideal bench and your go-to weights are all likely to be riddled with germs and bacteria.
To put it to the test, a group of labcoats gathered samples from a local gym to see how dirty the equipment really was. Here's what happened.
Researchers gathered bacteria samples from equipment at three different fitness chains and found that, on average, the treadmills, exercise bikes, and free weights each had more than one million bacteria cells per square inch.
To put that in context, a typical toilet seat has only 3,200 bacteria cells per square inch, according to the report.
(Related: How filty is your gym?)
That means the average dumbbell has 362 times more germs than a toilet seat. The treadmillsand bikes were even worse offenders, with 417 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Of course, not all kinds of bacteria make you sick. But more than 70% of the bugs the researchers found on gym equipment were potentially harmful to humans, according to the report. Some of the bacteria can cause pneumonia or infect your skin, ears, eyes, or respiratory system.
To stay healthy while you work out, wipe down all equipment with disinfectant before and after you use it, avoid touching your face during your workout, and scrub your hands immediately afterward with warm water and soap, says Donald Schaffner, Ph.D., a microbiology expert and Rutgers University professor.
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