If you're looking for an excuse to skip the gym this week, here's some news about how dirty the place you to go work out really is… While we all hope our fellow gymgoers put those disinfecting wipes to use after their last set, the unfortunate reality is that all gym equipment—from treadmills to dumbbells—is covered in bacteria.
Fit Rated recruited a lab to test the amount of bacteria on fitness equipment at several gyms, and the results have us wanting to break a sweat outdoors from now on.
"Every time you pick up a weight or grab an exercise bike handle, you could be putting yourself at risk for an illness or infection," states the report. More than 70% of bacteria swabbed in the study is potentially harmful to humans, including gram-positive cocci, which can lead to skin infections, septicemia, and pneumonia.
Ready to really cringe? Free weights are covered in 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Exercise bikes and treadmills are not as bad, but they're not far behind. Testing revealed that bikes carry 39 times more bacteria than a reusable cafeteria tray, including bacillus, which can lead to ear, eye, and respiratory infections.
Just remember all this next time you're at the gym and are tempted to skip wiping down the fitness equipment you just used. If you're thinking what we're thinking, keep scrolling to shop weight-lifting gloves to help protect your hands next time you hit the gym.
Are you shocked to learn how dirty gyms are? Tell us about your reaction in comments!