Photo: Independent Media Gym equipment much dirtier than people think

Are you still going to the gym? Have you ever thought about how much germ you would expose to when you use the equipment there? 

A recent research study showed that many kinds of fungus can be picked up at the gym and brought home and some of the equipment are even dirtier than public toilet seats. FitRated.com, a professional website providing info about popular fitness equipment for costumers, conducted a test on 27 different kinds of equipment in three nationwide chain fitness centers. 

In the test, bacteria levels was determined basing on colony-forming units (CFU), a unit in microbiology used to estimate the number of viable bacteria or fungal cells in a sample. It turned out the average treadmill, exercise bike, and free weights are all teeming with germs - more than one million CFU. 

The researchers found that the average exercise bike is 39 times dirtier than a cafeteria tray. The bacteria on treadmills is 74 times more than a public bathroom faucet. The worst is the free weights, with 382 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. "Everybody gets sweaty at the fitness center, and anything people have touched can have germ, I can anticipate that," Diana Ng, a gym member, told Xinhua.

"But I never thought it is as dirty as a public toilet seat. I bring my own towel, Yoga pad and other personal staff, I also wipe the equipment before I exercise every time, which I believe will reduce the chances to bring bacteria home." Maria Hernandez, a working staff at a chain fitness center in Los Angelese, told Xinhua that "We do provide the hands sanitizer and wipes here, some people use that but some people don't. Any place with people might have bacteria and fugues, you cannot stop going somewhere just because there are bacteria. 

Most people bring their own towels and take a shower before leaving, I think that's enough for cleaning." James Collyer, director of Modern Dermatology in Seattle, was quoted by FOX news as saying that people should avoid using public hot tubs in gym since the hot tubs has a high risk of contracting very common infection called "hot tub folliculitis." Moreover, never go barefoot in the locker room, as it's a great way to transmit fungus, bacteria and viruses, he suggested. Enditem