Post-COVID Cleaning Your Fitness Center

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    Post-COVID Cleaning Your Fitness Center

    The COVID pandemic opened everyone’s eyes to how fast a lethal virus can spread and do damage, even in today’s modern medicine world. And, just like decades before, hygiene and cleanliness make a huge difference in keeping people safe as well as preventing transmission. Now that life has been getting back to some sense of normality, but still, with a serious risk present, folks who are able to go back to fitness centers and the gym have a bit of a change to deal with. Exactly how clean is the equipment at the local fitness center?

    In most cases, the facility is cared for hourly and cleaned to a basic level because these facilities need to keep their business model operating. However, fitness centers in offices, hotels and similar also come into play as well. So, for those who use the gym regularly, doing a bit of self-protection and cleaning the equipment being used isn’t a bad idea. And no one these days is going to be offended by it. Remember, a clean set of equipment is only as good as the last person who used it.

    For facility owners and managers, the writing is on the wall; regular and frequent cleaning is a must. That includes:

    • Training staff to understand that cleaning and wipe-downs are a frequent and regular part of the job. In fact, they are the front line who protect customers and make sure everything is sanitized on a regular basis, so staff involvement is a must.
    • Set periodic cleaning on a schedule that is confirmed. In addition to spot cleaning when needed, there should be an hourly run of wiping down all equipment and areas used without exception. This should be confirmed by staff in writing once completed. Logs are extremely helpful in checking what work was done and by whom. Rotating assignment areas is a good idea so that certain staff don’t feel they are being picked on with bathroom cleaning all the time.
    • Maintain good levels of cleaning supplies and inventory at all times. The last thing that should happen is avoiding cleaning because there are insufficient wipes, gloves or cleaning products available.
    • Consider a professional service for a large facility to come in every few days or once a week and do a thorough scrub down of the entire building, including the staff areas. Take advantage of services providing electrostatic disinfection, a cleaning process that kills off 99.99% of viruses and bacteria on common surfaces. Prevention is key and a minimal effort when compared to an outbreak that makes multiple people sick.

    For the individual fitness center member, cleaning can be a personal regimen as well. In most cases, a fitness center will provide cleaning materials to wipe down equipment right after you have used it, but start off first when entering the facility by simply wiping your hands with an available sanitizer right from the start. This kills off anything you might have picked up from outside and handling the entry door.

    Next, identify where the cleaning materials are and use them as provided. By doing your part, you clean your own machine before and after use, and you provide a visual example for other members to do the same. Group behavior has often been a key help in preventing transmission of more infections.

    Third, make sure to throw away any used cleaning materials or wipes. Don’t try to re-use them. Sanitizing activity is not the place to try to recycle.

    Once complete and finished with the workout, individuals should immediately sanitize their hands with a thorough dab and hand wringing. Again, the idea here is to kill off any accidental contact. The benefit is double. Obviously, it destroys a risk to the individual personally. Second, it eliminates the chance of passing on the risk to someone else through secondary contact after the workout. And, even if sanitizer isn’t the most desired choice, a simple handwash with water and soap works as well.

    Fitness centers won’t be absolutely perfect with COVID still lingering, but a lot can be done to reduce risk. With both staff and members doing their part, everybody can stop fearing contact and still protect each other at the same time.









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