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How to Improve Cleaning and Hygiene Practices in the Fitness & Leisure Industry

This article is part of a series that details how to maintain optimal environmental hygiene in the face of COVID-19. Look out for dedicated articles on the Retail and Transport sectors.  

Fitness and Leisure centres played a big role in the daily routines of many people before the COVID-19 pandemic forced their closure and we’re still waiting for the doors to open three months later. Despite the public itching to get outside and back to some semblance of normality, they’re understandably anxious about returning to fitness centres due to the risks of infection. 

Business owners must take every precaution to ensure the safety of customers and staff. The “new norm” minimum standard of disinfection and decontamination should now be the gold standard. Staff and customers need reassurances that you’re taking those steps while encouraging and reminding people of their responsibilities to support safety and hygiene. 


Environmental Hygiene Begins with Housekeeping

Housekeeping and laundry areas must be kept as clean as locker rooms. Towels, cloths, mops, brooms, chemicals and soaps left lying around create a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, particularly on floors where staff walk and cross-contaminate other areas. 

One study by the US Center for Disease and Control showed that 66% of soap buckets and 93% of sampled cleaning towels in hospitals harboured bacteria. Hundreds of millions of people are affected annually by healthcare-associated infections.

Nobody should walk into a hospital and leave sicker than when they arrived, and now the same goes for fitness and leisure centres thanks to the lethal SAR-CoV-2.


Give Staff and Members the Tools to Maintain Cleanliness

Basic cleaning equipment and materials should be as prevalent at your facility as weight benches. Sanitation stations need to be strategically installed throughout your facility to remind members to sanitise their hands regularly, which reduces the danger of infection through contamination of surfaces.

It’s a good idea to keep cleaning materials like disinfectant spray and cloths at these stations so people can wipe down machines, equipment and lockers before and after their workout. 


Educate and Remind Members of Their Responsibilities

Visual communication will play an instrumental role in the “new normal” at leisure facilities.

Signage placed strategically around your facility can encourage members to maintain good hygiene practices like washing and sanitising hands, while visual aids like floor stickers and posters can remind people to socially distance, among other measures.

You can go one step further and keep your clients abreast of changes to government guidelines over your tannoy system whilst also describing your cleaning strategy to give them peace of mind. 


Visual Cleaning Reassures Customers

Keeping the highest level of facility hygiene plays the biggest role in ensuring the safety of your staff and clients, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the visual.

If you run a gym, clientele will jump around between machines and equipment, leaving sweat, marks and even saliva. Customers aren’t going to feel comfortable or safe in these situations and will need convincing that you’re providing optimal gym hygiene. 

Members must see cleaners walking around your facility and actively cleaning common touchpoints. Visible and active cleaners will reassure customers that you’re taking every step to ensure optimal environmental hygiene. 


Implement the Best Disinfectant and Decontamination Practices

It’s important to understand the difference between disinfection and decontamination. For a deep dive into these differences and their relation to COVID-19, this blog is a must-read. However, let’s have a brief overview of them now.


  • Disinfection

Disinfection refers to the elimination of most, but not all, bacterial biofilm from surfaces and inanimate objects using a chemical disinfectant. Biofilms are communities of bacteria that live, thrive and multiply under the protection of a sticky glue-like layer. These dangerous organisms are commonly known as dirt, grime, dust and other organic matter that people can leave through touching and cross-contamination. 

  • Decontamination

Decontamination eradicates all microbial contamination from surfaces, objects and materials using a chemical disinfectant. This process is crucial in establishing your facility as a safe space for everybody who enters. Once you’ve destroyed dangerous traces of bacteria and viruses, you can enjoy the confidence earned from doing everything possible to deliver an infection-free zone. 


Transform your Cleaning and Hygiene Practices into One Activity

Constant disinfection and contamination throughout the day are the most you can do during opening hours to provide a safe and hygienic environment. Once your doors close, it’s time for your staff to start the daily deep clean.

Dry steam vapour cleaning, when combined with a fogging device, will deliver both disinfection and decontamination in a far more effective, efficient and comprehensive manner. It fights the battle against bacteria and viruses on three fronts with thermal and chemical disinfection and decontamination by the mechanical action of surface penetration and extraction to eliminate dangerous organisms.

Dry steam vapour with fogging reaches areas your cleaners could easily miss through human error or an inability to reach those areas. There’s no evidence of coronavirus being spread through sweat but people sneeze, cough and produce saliva while pushing themselves in workouts which could lead to infected droplets landing in unusual places. Dry steam vapour cleaning and fogging eliminate this risk. 

Also, porous materials, like unvarnished wood, soak up and hide dangerous organisms that cannot be removed through manual cleaning and hygiene methods. Dry steam technology penetrates, extracts and eliminates these harmful contaminants - all while using a simple mix of water and optional non-toxic chemical disinfectant with a unique fogging attachment. 

Larger machines have inbuilt vacuums that collect wastewater, which you can easily dispose of through an environmentally friendly process. This transforms your staged manual process into one efficient and effective cleaning activity.


Build the New Normal with our Expert Knowledge

Osprey Deepclean is a market-leading expert in dry steam vapour technology and we’ve always placed environmental hygiene as the driving force behind our mission. Recognised by the Department of Health and NHS Supply Chain for our innovation and contribution to healthcare environment cleanliness, we have the technology to help you fight and win the war against COVID-19. 


We can help you easily to cultivate the safest and cleanest environment for everybody who enters your facility. Our SteamCare range is the ultimate infection control tool, designed specifically for businesses like yours.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us here and our experts will give you all the guidance you need.


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