Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

Possibility of catching something from gym equipment?

By Anonymous October 21, 2016 - 8:39am
Rate This

Recently I've been finding that I'm becoming a bit of a germaphobe, and that I'm constantly worried about catching something from my every day activities. I go to the gym, and today I was using a new machine, and the palms of my hands began to hurt (I need to buy athletic gloves I guess haha). I looked at them and saw that there were two little nicks in the skin right at the base of the ring finger on the left hand and middle finger on the right hand. They aren't bleeding but they are sore.

I started getting paranoid because I wondered if I could possibly catch something, like maybe hepatitis or HIV from the gym equipment? They clean them pretty often, but it is a popular gym and all the machines are constantly being used. and the fact that my hands had open cuts in the palms is making me even more scared.

I'm trying to calm myself, saying that if it was that easy to catch HIV or other STDs from casual touch that everyone in the world would have it, but I can seem to make myself seem reason. Is it possible to catch anything like sicknesses from the machines? How can I protect myself? and more importantly, how can I stop being so germaphobic? it's a habit that started forming the last year and it's beginning to badly impact my life.
thank you!

Add a Comment2 Comments


Hello RK,

Welcome again to EmpowHER. Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns.

Germs and bacteria are found everywhere, including gyms.
Fungi, bacteria, and viruses are common in wet areas such as showers and swimming pool decks. Sweat left to dry on equipment is also a breeding ground for bacteria.

Bacteria can also thrive on used towels on locker room floors, weights, sweaty cardio machines, and benches that members sit on between workouts.

If your gym has a swimming pool or hot tub, ask the staff how often they are cleaned and how often the chemical balance is checked.

Wearing "shower shoes" or flip-flops to help minimize your chances of getting athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and viral or bacterial infections.

Wash your hands frequently, wipe down the equipment before and after you work out, and sit on a towel when in the sauna or on benches.

All gyms should have an automatic sanitizer dispenser. Use it as much as you can. It also doesn't hurt to bring your own hand sanitizer with you. During cold and flu season, if you're sick with a cold or flu, stay home until you've been free of fever for at least a day so you don't spread your germs.

RK, I doubt you will contract hepatitis or HIV from contact with gym equipment.

It is important for you to keep everything in perspective. Strike a balance between being obsessive and being careful. There is no doubt that getting infected is depressing, but inviting unwanted stress in your life can be more depressing. You should be willing to accept the fact that germs can creep into your life.


October 21, 2016 - 9:14am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you for replying! I sent you a private message.

October 21, 2016 - 12:02pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.