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Study finds dirty gyms turn away members

Study finds dirty gyms turn away members
January 21, 2015

As people make their way to gyms and fitness centres to fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, it could well be that a dirty facility will put them off working out rather than a lack of motivation.

A US study has revealed that 88% of adults wouldn’t exercise in a gym or athletic facility if they found it to have cleanliness issues.

The study, commissioned by the Cintas Corporation and conducted online in December 2012 by Harris Interactive® among 3,036 US adults, has received little attention to date.

Yet findings that nearly nine in 10 adults would not return to a dirty gym or fitness centre raise significant issues for managers of all exercise facilities.

Commenting on the findings, Cintas Corporation Senior Director of Marketing Dave Mesko explained "the survey results are a clear indictor that gym managers need to improve cleaning practices to encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.”

When asked which specific cleanliness issues would most likely prevent them from exercising or working out in a gym or athletic facility, respondents reported:

• Unpleasant smells - 72%
• Dirty equipment - 71%
• Unclean toilets and changing/locker rooms - 71%
• Dirty floors - 55%
• Lack of cleaning products to wipe down equipment - 52%
• Spills/Stains on the floor or carpet - 46%
• Dusty surfaces - 36%

When survey respondents were asked to describe the dirtiest object or behavior they’ve ever seen in a gym or athletic facility, some interesting responses were shared, including:

“Janitors using same towels people use to wipe their bodies to clean the bathroom floor/toilet, etc.” (Female, age 40)

“I once saw a man sneeze into his hands and then proceed to wrap his hands around a piece of gym equipment.” (Male, age 31)

“A urinal in the men’s locker room that had a brownish, yellow stain running down the wall under it that went all the way to the floor.” (Male, age 47)

Mesko added “without proper cleaning and disinfecting, gyms can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and unpleasant odor.

“Providing a clean gym for members is critical to ensure they maintain their membership well beyond the New Year.”

US-based Cintas provides comprehensive cleaning and disinfection programs for aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport facilities in the USA.

For more information go to www.cintas.com/facilityservices

Cleaning issues relating to aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport facilities will be explored in a feature in the March/April 2015 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.

Images included for illustrative purposes only.

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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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