Gym classes are a great way to keep up motivation to workout. However the camaraderie you build when spinning or spotting isn’t the only thing you’re sharing. It seems that certain gym classes leave you more open to swapping bacteria.
While all gym equipment — and all public places, for that matter — carry some expectation of germs, a recent study conducted by EllipticalReviews.com found that there are two gym classes in particular that are more unhygienic than a toilet.
The researchers took three swab samples from equipment in four different workout classes (spin, hot yoga, barre, and weight-based workouts). The swabs were measured for the volume of microbes found and then the three samples were averaged to determine the level of colony-forming units (CFU).
Weight-based workouts were the worst, with an average of 153,410 CFU detected on an average barbell. For comparison, a toilet seat comes in with about 3,200 CFU — that means weights have 48 times more bacteria than your toilet. Yuck!
In second place comes hot yoga. It will be hard to relax in Savasana knowing the average yoga mat harbors around 25,533 CFU — eight times dirtier than a toilet seat.
But there was some promising news. Spin class bikes and barre class equipment came back relatively clean — 240 times cleaner than the toilet seat that is.
The research was only carried out at one place, so results are likely to vary greatly, but it does give active people some measure to go by. Although, whether it’s barre or barbells, it’s always best to treat public places with extreme caution when it comes to transferring germs.
So load up on the hand sanitizer, touch only what you must to get your workout on, and by all means, shower when you’re done.
(h/t Cosmo UK)