What’s Lurking in Your Gym?


Disgusting. Foul. Gross. These are not the typical words one uses when describing their gym. However, a recent study commissioned by the Cintas Corporation found that gyms are often prone to shamefully dirty sights and behaviors. The survey, conducted online in December 2012 by Harris Interactive among 3,036 US adults, asked adults to describe in detail the grossest thing they have seen in a gym—and the results were truly shocking.

When respondents were asked to be as descriptive as possible about the dirtiest object or behavior they’ve ever seen in a gym or athletic facility, US adults shared the following:“As people make their New Year’s resolutions, they likely want to work out in a facility that is clean and free of the filthy things revealed in this survey,” said Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing, Cintas Corporation. “By being selective of the types of gyms they join, consumers can make sure they aren’t witness to anything unpleasant while working out.”

  • >>“Clumps of hair floating around in the exercise room during a class.” (Female, age 53)
  • >>“People shaking [their] head and body, such as a cat, to get sweat droplets off them, sending THEIR sweat in every direction.” (Female, age 55)
  • >>“Janitors using the same towels people use to wipe their bodies to clean the bathroom floor/toilet, etc.” (Female, age 55)
  • >>“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)

“We knew we’d get some interesting responses, but the results of this survey left us laughing—and in some cases, crying,” added Mesko. “As we start the New Year, consumers should keep cleanliness in mind as they plan their 2013 fitness goals and gym memberships.”

For more information about Cintas’ solutions for athletic facilities, visit cintas.com/facilityservices.