Lack of motivation is not the only reason people avoid a gym. According to a study commissioned by the Cintas Corporation and conducted by Harris Interactive, 88 percent of adults wouldn’t exercise in a gym or athletic facility if they found it to have cleanliness issues.

“As people make their New Year’s resolutions, they are likely looking to join a nearby gym to meet their 2013 health goals,” said Dave Mesko, senior director of marketing, Cintas Corporation. “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, adults reported the following:
• Unpleasant odors - 72 percent
• Dirty equipment - 71 percent
• Unclean restrooms/locker rooms - 71 percent
• Dirty floors - 55 percent
• Lack of cleaning products to wipe down equipment - 52 percent
• Spills/Stains on the floor or carpet - 46 percent
• Dusty surfaces - 36 percent

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 the 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)

“Without proper cleaning and disinfecting, gyms can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and unpleasant odor,” added Mesko. “Providing a clean gym for members is critical to ensure they maintain their membership well beyond the New Year.”