Five things your gym should be doing to be COVID Secure

With a growing number of gym owners turning to InfectProtect to help with the reopening of their facility, we’ve decided to outline the main things all gyms should implement before they reopen their doors…

 

Enhanced check-in

 

It’s no secret that people are creatures of habit and regularly just follow others like sheep. This is why it’s so important to enhance your normal checking-in procedures and make it evident to all visitors what new health and safety procedures have been put in place. A simple instruction board placed outside is a reasonable approach to outline the gym’s expectations (number of members allowed in each area, new equipment restrictions, hygiene requirements, etc.). But to really ensure compliance, we think it’s always best to greet your members back and “re-induct” them into your new procedures. Afterall how many signs have you walked past recently and just ignored?

 

Enforced hand sanitisation

 

Installing dispensers filled with WHO-approved hand sanitiser around the gym is a highly recommended and effective method for limiting the spread of bacteria and viruses from high touch areas. But as people start to become complacent, it’s important to make sure you enforce sanitisation. One of the areas where we think this is very important, is at reception – after all 100% of your members pass through here so it is one of the highest risk areas. Enforcement can be done by your receptionists (although this can be a hidden cost) or via a machine, such as our SteriSecure device.

SteriSecure is an accessible hand sanitiser installed as part of your access control system (swipe card, turn style, pin code) to ensure all entrants have clean, germ-free hands upon entering a specific area. Installing SteriSecure continually enforces hand sanitisation, by only unlocking the door when a member thoroughly sanitises. Not only can this release staff responsibility, but also assumes complete compliance with hand sanitisation. It could also save your gym a significant amount of money in refill costs, due to its precise dispense amount.

 

Equipment spacing & user distancing

 

One of the most important measures to put in place is to ensure your users can keep themselves safe by keeping distance from each other. We understand that this is hard within a gym setting, but this means that you will not only have to take out/decommission some equipment to ensure there is at least a 1.5m primitor around each item, but will also need to ensure a one way system is introduced to make sure members paths don’t cross as they work around the gym. That said we understand sometimes removing equipment isn’t viable or practical so in these instances you can build cubicles around each piece of equipment, but this really should only be done in conjunction with improved ventilation.

 

Improving ventilation

 

Which brings us onto an important topic in itself, ventilation. This is important in any indoor situation, but even more so in an environment where people are breathing deeply and heavily – potentially projecting their exchailed air well over the 1.5-2m “safe zone”. Join this with the fact that scientists have proven viruses can stay suspended in the air for over half an hour (In the study’s experimental setup, the virus stayed suspended for three hours, but it would drift down much sooner under most conditions.) you can see why it’s really important to refresh the air in your whole facility regularly. The cheapest way to do this is to obviously open up the doors, windows and shutters, but in gyms where this is not possible it’s important to upgrade your ventilation system, preferably with a UV or some other sort of filter which has been proven to kill airborne pathogens.

 

Improved cleaning procedures

 

Even with enforced hand sanitisation procedures in place, you will still need to regularly disinfect high touch areas as you can’t make sure users santise after touching their face or coughing into their hand (both subconscious behaviour we’re not going to stop anytime soon). Because of this you have two options 1) have team members constantly sanitising every touchpoint throughout the day with a disinfectant or 2) use a long life antimicrobial coating which works 24/7 to actively kill pathogens that land on them.

Our view is option 1 isn’t really viable as it costs too much and will always be prone to human error (i.e. not cleaning every touch point, forgetting or not being able to keep up with the required frequency). Whereas option 2 can allow you to bring some sort of normality back, removing “no go areas” such as cubicles, stair bannisters, lockers, and gym mats and allowing them to be safe to use again.

Our water-based antimicrobial coating is scientifically proven to kill 99% of bacteria and viruses through a mechanical kill process rather than a chemical one. In short what this means is that your customers aren’t coming into contact with any harmful chemicals, but rather the surface is being turned into a “valley of death” for pathogens that land on them. This is also a transparent and odourless coating which can be used on all surfaces and will continue to prohibit the spread of microorganisms for up to 90 days.

No we’re not saying that this is a replacement for a good cleaning regime, but this will limit the need for excessive cleaning and will offer protection upto 99% between cleans while helping to prevent bad smells brought on by bacterial and fungal growth.

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Michael Howe

Michael Howe

Michael is the MD of InfectProtect. He has over 19 years worth of experience bringing innovations to market and is focused on identifying solutions that will truly have an impact in the "new normal"

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