Science Finds Gym Equipment Is Germ-Infested And Absolutely Disgusting


So we already knew that the local gym is infested with beyond gross germs, but new data confirmed just how disgusting the fitness space is, and if we’re being totally honest, we’re 100 percent ready to get our workouts in elsewhere.

Folks from fitness equipment review website visited three different big chain gym brands available across the country and tested 27 different types of equipment for unwanted germs and bacteria. What they found is downright terrifying.

Your average stationary bike is 39 times dirtier than a cafeteria tray. Your average treadmill is home to 74 times more bacteria than a sink in a public bathroom. And your average set of free weights holds onto 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat in that same public bathroom. Yuck.


Even though sanitation stations are available in most (if not all) big gyms, anywhere between 50 and 100 people touch the equipment and don’t clean it before you use it. It is this kind of poor cleaning etiquette that makes gyms official breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses and fungus. In fact, these spaces are notorious for spreading everything from MRSA to toenail fungus.

“You share a towel or you lay down on a mat, you touch a bar, and then you touch an open wound, it’s certainly a way you could transmit staph,” Dr. James Collyer from Medical Dermatology in Seattle told Tribune Media.

If these new details have your skin crawling — which they should — maybe consider sticking to outdoor jogs and yoga classes where the mat you bring (and, therefore, the germs you are lying on) are entirely your own. That or speak with your home gym management team ASAP to see if they get the building professionally cleaned and often.