Clean Insights

What are Your Shoes Bringing into the Gym?

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Most of us remove our shoes when we enter our homes so we don’t bring dirt into the house. We take this action so we can keep ourselves healthy. Unfortunately, there is more than just dirt hanging around on shoes, there is a community of germs and bacteria.

People want to feel safe while they are working out so providing a clean gym is a must. Making sure equipment and high touch areas throughout the gym are cleaned and disinfected is a high priority. Hopefully, staff and members are visibly cleaning equipment, using hand sanitizer, and cleaning free weights. We trust that deeper cleaning is happening behind the scenes in locker rooms, bathrooms, shower stalls and that floors are being mopped. It is no secret that all these areas harbor germs. But, does your gym make you change your shoes before working out? If they don’t they need to start!

Street Shoes vs. Gym Shoes

Why should gyms make it a hard and fast rule that members need to exchange their “street” shoes for gym shoes before working out? Well, quite simply, germs live on shoes. Therefore, viruses are mobile. How many of us have seen gym members walk in wearing the same pair of shoes they use for working out? This habit is unsafe and potentially spreads a lot of germs throughout the gym environment. A study out of Arizona showed that shoes only worn for 3 months had 421,000 units of bacteria living on the bottom of them. Shoes that have bacteria on them contaminate other surfaces they come into contact with. Over 90% of the time, existing bacteria on shoes were transferred onto clean floor tiles after stepping on them for the very first time.[i] Remember, gyms should not enable members to do whatever they want just because it’s easier for them to walk in and start working out. Gyms typically let people get away with certain behavior because they don’t want to rock-the-boat and offend members. Well, gyms need to keep all members healthy and safe.

 

What Else is Living on Shoes?

The question is best answered by another question. Where have your shoes been? Did you take your dog for a walk at the dog park? Gone to the grocery store lately? I think you are getting the point. Everywhere you have been, germs have been attaching themselves to your shoes. Think about all of the places your shoes have come into contact with in the past few months.


Here is another difficult germ to think about- the fecal matter that is living on the bottom of your shoes. Dr. Charles Gerba states that, “if you wear shoes for more than a month, 93% will have fecal matter on the bottom of them.”[ii] People wear shoes in public restrooms, right? Well, do they wash their shoes after using the restroom? I know, gross.

There are a lot of bacteria that live on shoes. Changing shoes before working out is a huge step to help contain germs in a fitness facility but gym shoes also become contaminated with bacteria. The same scenarios mentioned above apply to gym shoes as well. Our gym shoes “pick up” the bacteria left behind by others’ gym shoes.

The Fix

What if there was a simple yet effective solution to help get the bacteria and germs off of the bottom your shoes while you are at the gym? The cleaning material would have to be pliable enough to get into those crevices and grooves. The solution? Pre-saturated antibacterial wipes can get rid of bacteria on the bottom of those shoes. Gyms that provide wipes in locker rooms will help members take a proactive step in killing germs so they don’t spread them. Members can wipe down their shoes before and after working out. Just think about how healthy the gym will become if each member gets into this habit of cleaning her shoes.

2XL is a leading manufacturer of cost-effective cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting products for fitness, healthcare, food service, education, manufacturing, and other workplace environments. Our passion is to provide smart solutions for any environment where “clean” is important. We also design products that customers love using! Our fast drying GymWipes are ammonia and bleach free. The antibacterial formula is designed to clean, disinfect, and deodorize. Our wipes kill 99.9% of bacteria in just 15 seconds.

Show your members you take clean seriously. Provide the solution to keep your members and your gym healthy!

2XL is your trusted partner in the fitness industry. Other 2XL products include:

[i] http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2016/09/n-petri-dishes-you-can-wear-ua-researchers-study-the-bacteria-on-the-bottoms-of-your-shoes

[ii] https://www.today.com/home/health-reasons-why-you-shouldn-t-wear-shoes-house-t129820

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