Recent government action has impacted gym-goers behaviour, particularly the guidance to work from home, and as a result gym operators face some real difficulties. As the industry heads into its busiest trading period in the post-festive health kick, SBFM asks how gyms can safely support the health and wellbeing of communities, while minimising risk.
As the ongoing pandemic continues to grip the UK, keeping facilities and equipment clean and well-maintained is more important than ever for all fitness environments.
Not surprisingly, 92% of consumers are most concerned with rigorous cleaning guidelines in their decision to return to fitness facilities, with the capabilities of gyms to adhere to strict sanitisation requirements and hygiene protocols a critical determining factor, according to a survey by Mindbody.
Of course, an effective and thorough cleaning regime is nothing new for fitness facilities, but with members now possessing a heightened awareness of hygiene, cleanliness can not only give a great first impressions, but also impact on the member experience and revenues gained from membership renewals.
A strong regime across all critical areas and equipment, especially in areas which involve the execution of exercise, is required. Here we explore some of the critical areas to incorporate into your cleaning regimes.
They say first impressions count and for fitness facilities this is certainly the case. A clean and hygienic reception area can reassure visitors of a safe environment as soon as they walk through the door. Given the high volume of traffic that reception areas are susceptible to, gym operators must consider them as a key function of their cleaning strategies.
Glass doors, windows, partitions and stainless-steel surfaces can be vulnerable to fingerprints and marks and require attention. While the failure to address inconsistencies with floor cleaning in high footfall gym entrances can have a detrimental impact on hygiene and cleanliness, and lead to a danger of slips and falls should a liquid be spilled, or debris left unattended.
Foot traffic in entrance areas is inevitable, but effective floor cleaning regimes can go a long way to addressing its impact. Whether that involves deep carpet cleaning routines or hard floor scrubbing, each can leave a lasting positive impression on members.
Clean, safe equipment
Just 19% of Brits admit to always cleaning gym equipment, and 46% have never sanitised the machinery, making equipment a potential hive of bacteria if not cleaned effectively. Indeed, on average a treadmill has 74 times more bacteria than a public bathroom tap, and the free weight section could have up 362 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Naturally, equipment requires more stringent cleaning and disinfecting methods to ensure their members feel at ease when they return. As well as regular cleaning during the day, out-of-hours deep cleans may also be required.
While some gym equipment may harbour more germs than a toilet seat, that does not mean that washroom areas should be neglected. Harmful pathogens and transmittable diseases can survive for hours, or even days, on frequently touched surfaces such as toilet levers, cubicles, wash basins, taps and door handles.
Routine high specification cleaning, plus disinfection, can deliver a pleasant and safe restroom environment for all members, protecting against cross-contamination, unsanitary conditions and bacteria build-up.
Changing rooms attract a high volume of traffic on a continuous basis, so they need constant attention. Add to that, then fact that facilities of this nature comprise restrooms, showers, high use individual changing cubicles, secure lockers and much more, and they can pose a diverse challenge.
Central to cleanliness is making sure you have a clearly defined cleaning regime in place that covers everything from dust on high ledges to grime on cubicle legs, washroom services and consumables, waste management and deep cleaning provisions. By reviewing it regularly, gym operators can stay on top of hygiene.
The 24/7 nature of certain gyms and leisure facilities makes gym security and access control essential to creating safe and secure environments.
Integrated security services, with highly trained, fully vetted operatives can help protect people, property, and assets. You can determine who has access to specific areas and exactly when, always ensuring the safety of your staff, particularly if they are working alone, or during quiet hours.
Your expert partner in leisure and health club environments
Our cleaning and soft FM experts and industry leading solutions help ensure premises remain hygienic, safe and attractive, allowing gyms to deliver the best possible visitor experience. For more information, please visit: https://sb-fm.co.uk/leisure-and-hospitality-cleaning/