By Daniela Papadakis
One of the first things to notice when walking into a fitness center is how clean or unclean it is.
The Lynn fitness facility may be small but it offers all the latest equipment and is easily accessible to all students on and off campus. However, if it is unclean or unsanitary in any way, the students can be affected.
Lynn follows strict cleaning policies when it comes to the fitness center. Keeping the Lynn fitness center clean is not just for visual appeal, it is for health and safety precautions as well, as there are a number of organisms that can bloom in a moist and humid environment. Individuals can develop anything from influenza to athlete’s foot when using unsanitary machines.
“Right after using any machine, I wipe it with the disinfectant wipes for other people to use it clean and sterile,” said Marianna La Rocca, senior.
The most common microorganism in a gym area is Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus can be found anywhere and everywhere that can be touched or that comes in contact with sweat or any other body fluids. It is a bacteria that can cause an infection anywhere on the body, is resistant to antibiotics and highly contagious.
Influenza is another common microorganism in fitness centers. Many members will unknowingly workout when they are in the early stages of the flu, spreading the virus around them when they cough or sneeze.
“If I’m starting to feel sick, I do not go to the gym because it is a small space. If I sneeze, everyone will get sick,” said Andres Papadakis, junior.
Another bacteria found in fitness centers is fungus, especially infections called dermatophytes. These dermatophytes infect the epidermal tissue, hair and nails, with one of the most common infections being athlete’s foot. It is contracted via person-to-person contact or when bodily fluids touch a person through sweat on a workout mat.
Planet Fitness started the sanitary trend, as they have Windex and paper towels seemingly everywhere, and their employees are always walking around to wipe down the equipment.
Luckily, the Lynn community takes pride in their gym and many wipe down their machines after using them. In the past, most gyms did not require guests to wipe down machines.
“Every time I go to the Lynn fitness center, I notice students using the disinfectant wipes to clean what they use,” said La Rocca.
In fact, the Lynn Recreational Center recently shut down for a long weekend, sterilizing the entire gym and making it look new.
When at the fitness center, health is not only a product of effective training habits but it also an opportunity to practice sanitary routines.