Colds, flu... and fungal feet: How going to the gym could actually make you SICK
- Survey found almost three quarters of gym-goers have have witnessed poor hygiene
- Almost half admitted using towels or water bottles that didn't belong to them
- And more than a third admitted to exercising without deodorant or socks
Almost three quarters (74%) of people polled by Nuffield Health said they had witnessed 'bad fitness etiquette' in the gym including poor hygiene like failing to clean sweaty equipment.
Almost half of those polled admitted using something in the gym that didn't belong to them, including towels, water bottles or toiletries.
Nuffield warned the behaviour could leave people open to catching colds and flu from other gym users, as well as fungal infections like athletes foot.
Sarah Marsh, the firm's professional head of fitness and wellbeing, said: 'Yes, it's unpleasant when the person before you hasn't wiped their sweat off the machine they've been using, but the health implications of this and the other hygiene issues our study revealed can be more wide ranging than this.
'We encounter disease-causing germs every day, although generally few of us become ill.
'We know these germs may easily be spread by unwashed hands - through direct contact with someone or indirectly through touching contaminated object.
'So, as the temperature dips outside, there are many more bugs around and our immune systems are challenged by the 'flu seasons' arrival - not wiping down gym equipment can help germs spread.
The survey of 2,000 people also found that 22 per cent of people were put off exercise by poor hygiene or excessive nudity in changing rooms.
Eighteen per cent of exercisers admitted going to the gym when suffering from colds, coughing and sneezing.
And more than a third admitted to exercising without deodorant or socks on, while 16 per cent admitted not washing gym clothes between workouts.
As a result, Nuffield Health has produced an online guide with details of how to exercise and stay healthy.
For more information visit www.nuffieldhealth.com/fitnessguide
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2246014/Colds-flu--fungal-feet-How-going-gym-actually-make-SICK.html#ixzz2EkvnRkoJ
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