Gym Equipment Is Loaded With Bacteria, Says Study

Posted: Apr 10 2016, 1:11am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 10 2016, 10:03pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Gym Equipment is Loaded with Bacteria, Says Study
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Study finds that free weights at the gym have more bacteria than a toilet seat!

People do workout in gyms to stay fit and healthy and to boost their self-esteem. But what about when they get more health problems instead of benefits?

A new study has found that gyms are loaded with bacteria. Dumbbells, treadmills and exercise bikes are hotspots for germs. Fitrated, a premier fitness review website, took bacteria samples from 27 different pieces of equipment at three different gyms to get an idea about how many germs a person can encounter when he enters a gym. 

They found that gyms are literally playgrounds of bacteria. To put it in perspective, they compared the bacteria levels found on gym equipment with the number of germs typically found on everyday items. They came up with some surprising numbers. 


  • A treadmill has 74 times more bacteria than a water tap.
  • An exercise bike contains 39 times more bacteria than a plastic cafeteria tray. 
  • The dirtiest of them all are free weights. Weights can have 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. 


Using this fitness equipment is not less than putting yourself at a risk for an illness or infection unless you wipe down the gym equipment before workout or wash your hands after picking them up.

“We tested the samples we gathered to determine bacteria levels based on Colony-forming Units (CFU) – the number of viable bacteria cells. And it turns out the average treadmill, exercise bike, and free weight are all teeming with germs – more than 1 million per square inch apiece.” Blog post reads.

All these three types of equipment yield bacteria that can cause skin infections, pneumonia and blood poising and some of these bacteria can even resist antibiotics. 

To protect themselves from the germs at gym, Fitrated suggests that people should disinfect machines both before and after they use them. They should not walk barefoot and always wash their hands and change out of their gym clothes immediately after a workout.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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