Minimizing the risk of infections at the gym

Staph, funguses, wart viruses, cold and flu bugs—all are lurking at the gym, according to William Hanage, HSPH associate professor of epidemiology. So it’s important to take precautions. Quoted in the Boston Globe Oct. 5, 2011, Hanage offered a number of suggestions on how to avoid gym germs, such as using hand sanitizer, covering all cuts with bandages, and making sure to sit on a towel in the steam room.

You should always wipe down the handles of crosstrainers, weight machines, and other equipment, Hanage cautioned. “You can pick up an infection at the gym, just like you can get infected on the T,” he said, though he adds that the likelihood of picking up serious infections from working out is small and no reason for people to avoid heading to the gym.

Read the Boston Globe article