This Study Says Those Weights You Use At The Gym Are Dirtier Than A Toilet

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I've always suspected it but didn't want to believe it: Free weights, treadmills and exercise bikes -- basically all your favorite, go-to gym equipment -- are covered in germs. Like, crawling with them.

Thanks to the research team at FitRated, now we know just how filthy fitness facilities really are.

After gathering bacteria samples from 27 different pieces of equipment at three different big-name gyms, they found that your typical free weight contains 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Your average exercise bike also has 39 times more bacteria than a plastic, reusable cafeteria tray.

Gross.

FitRated.com

But it's not just the amount of germs you need to be worried about, it's the type. Apparently, over 52 percent of the bacteria they found on treadmills can cause skin infections, pneumonia and even septicemia.

Overall, 70 percent of the bacteria they found proved to be potentially harmful to humans.

FitRated.com

So, what's a dedicated gym rat to do? The pros at FitRated suggest wiping down the equipment often, saying,

Be sure to disinfect machines both before and after you use them, never walk around barefoot, don't touch your face, and always wash your hands and change out of your gym clothes immediately after a workout.

Then again, you always have the option of skipping the gym altogether and going outside for a lovely walk with a bunch of rescue puppies. Because, you know, it's easier to fight off the flu when you're blissfully happy.

You can find more information about the study and read the complete findings here.

Citations: EXAMINING GYM CLEANLINESS (FitRated)