Next time you go to the gym, you might want to wash your hands after using the machines.
A new study has revealed the amount of bacteria on different pieces of gym equipment – and it’s pretty disturbing.
Researchers from FitRated found that the average exercise bike harbours 39 times more bacteria than a cafeteria tray and the average treadmill has 74 times more bacteria than a typical public bathroom tap.
What’s more, typical free weights have 362 times more germs than a toilet seat.
The researchers took swab samples from 27 pieces of gym equipment and based their figures on colony-forming units (CFU) – the number of viable bacteria cells.
Treadmills, exercise bikes and free weights were all found to yield bacteria such as gram-positive cocci, gram-negative rods and gram-positive rods, all of which can cause skin infections and tummy bugs.
The exercise bikes and free weight samples also showed Bacillus – a potential cause of conditions including ear, eye, and respiratory infections.
Of course, there are many benefits of going to the gym including keeping your heart healthy and maintaining a healthy weight.
But the researchers have warned gym-goers to keep hygiene in mind after working out in order to protect their health.
They said: “Be sure to disinfect machines both before and after you use them, never walk around barefoot, don’t touch your face, and always wash your hands and change out of your gym clothes immediately after a workout.”