Gym Equipment Dirtier than Public Toilet Seats

Wash your hands, bro.


Going to the gym boosts your immune system. It helps with overall health, vitality and makes you jacked. But, in a couple of recent studies, some companies have found gyms to be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Now, this isn’t really a surprise; people sit on foam seats, sweating from their forehead to their balls, with gravity pulling it through their shorts and onto the equipment.

Sweat from your own, or someone else’s balls or ass isn’t clean. So gym equipment isn’t going to be all that great either. Just make sure you wipe yours up after.

What’s pretty shocking though, and we apologize to any clean freaks reading, is the level of bacteria present on most equipment. hit three of the bigger gym chains in the US with their white gloves and swabs just to see what the actual amounts of these bacteria was.

They found the following after checking 27 different bits of equipment;

  • Exercise bikes are on average 39 times dirtier than a cafeteria tray
  • Treadmills contain 74 times more bacteria than a public toilet faucet
  • Free weights house over 362 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat

We can take or leave the cardio equipment. That could be covered in the plague and we wouldn’t really be at risk. But the free weights?! C’mon.


Even MRSA was detected

We mentioned earlier that we are all carriers of various bacteria, fungus and whatever else we pick up on our daily lives. Fortunately though, we have fairly solid immune systems to battle it. Being regular lifters certainly helps. So the risk isn’t massive. But it’s still pretty gross.

Dr. James Collyer, medical director of Modern Dermatology in Seattle said “Be aware that approximately 50 to 100 people probably just touched the bar that you just touched without being cleaned.”

He suggests that everyone should wipe equipment before and after use. As well as making use of the hand sanitizers to minimize the risk of catching anything or spreading it back home.

While the risk isn’t massive, when you take a look at the types of bacteria found on equipment, it makes you realize that not staying strict with hygiene in the gym could, maybe, lead to you feeling very sick.

Staphylococcus, salmonella and even MRSA were detected in some gyms. 

Now these are some seriously gross strains of bacteria to be found festering on some free weights. And to be straight, some people just aren’t great with hygiene.

It’s these people that won’t be reading this and deciding to shower every couple of days. So to avoid their lack of hygiene making you ill, don’t forget to wipe, bro. And be thankful you’re in the gym getting fitter and healthier in the first place.

Mere mortals wouldn’t stand a chance.

One Comment

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  1. I’m guessing like most like chains sprays and towels were provided instead of wipes.

    If gym owners understood the problem, they would know that there is a contact time and the 2 seconds between spraying a surface and wiping it off does no good.

    Pre-moistened wipes leave the solution on the surface after use, so it can actually kill some or all of that bacteria depending on what you use.

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