Public health has become a priority for businesses across the country. As a result, companies are trying to find the best ways to keep their doors open without exposing their employees or customers to colds, the flu, or other contagious viruses. Fitness centers are no stranger to this dilemma.
Exercise has many benefits, such as reducing stress and treating chronic diseases. Fitness centers are where people go to keep their bodies healthy, and public health concerns should not have to prevent people from going to the gym. Thankfully, there is a fantastic solution that protects fitness enthusiasts from contagious germs: sneeze guards. Let’s explore why portable sneeze guards make fantastic additions to fitness centers across the United States.
Why Do Gyms Need Sneeze Guards?
Respiratory droplets are expelled into the air when people talk, breathe, sing, sneeze, or shout. So while most people don’t sing in fitness centers (though there is a first time for everything), intense physical exercise causes people to breathe harder. Because of this, exercising near other people increases your risk of spreading or catching contagious illnesses.
You may be wondering: Does breathing harder really produce more airborne droplets?
A Queensland University of Technology study performed by Graham Johnson and Lidia Morawska set out to find answers. Johnson and Morawska found in their study of 17 participants that rapid inhalation raised the concentration of aerosol droplets by two to three times the average amount. Deep inhalations caused increases of four to six times the normal amount.
Studies like this suggest that breathing occurring during physical activity produces more droplets, and in turn, more viral particles if someone is infected. This is alarming information for fitness centers where people often breathe faster and deeper during exercise and recovery time. The risk for spreading infectious airborne germs increases when people are within six feet of each other.
People need access to fitness centers because exercise benefits things such as:
- Controlled weight
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Managed blood sugar levels
- Improved mental health
- Increased brain function
- Better quality of sleep
- Reduced joint pain
With all of the incredible benefits that physical exercise has to offer, fitness centers need to figure out how to allow people to participate in physical activity without risking the spread of contagious illnesses. Luckily, fitness centers all across the United States have found a solution with plexiglass sneeze guard panels.
How Do Sneeze Guards Work?
Sneeze guards for fitness centers are easy to install with durable aluminum brackets and a simple screwdriver. Sneeze guards are made from strong plexiglass, and they work by forming a barrier between two people in close proximity. This barrier helps prevent airborne droplets from spreading from person to person.
The transparent nature of sneeze guards allows clients and staff members to see, hear, and interact with each other as usual. Fitness centers are often social places, and transparent sneeze guards allow for safe socialization.
Sneeze guards can be made to fit just about any space. You can find hanging sneeze guards, portable barriers, large acrylic sheets with pass-throughs, and custom solutions. Sneeze guards are easy to clean with polishing and cleaning supplies. Gym employees have found it simple to incorporate cleaning sneeze guards into their regular cleaning routine.
Where Are the Best Places to Install Sneeze Guards in Gyms?
Sneeze guards make fantastic additions to fitness centers, but where exactly are the best places to install them? Since sneeze guards are portable or customizable to fit any space, you want to prioritize installing them in high-traffic areas that pose a higher risk of spreading airborne illnesses. Some of the most efficient locations to install sneeze guards in fitness centers are:
Front desks in any establishment are high-risk areas for people to interact. Receptionists come in close contact with a wide variety of people throughout the day, so it is wise to protect the receptionist and customers alike with a protective barrier.
Fitness clients will be pleased to see sneeze guards when they first arrive in the gym. Installing a protective panel at your gym’s reception desk gives off the impression that you genuinely care about the health of your customers and employees.
The transparent plexiglass allows clients and staff to interact productively. As a result, friendly interactions can continue to occur while keeping people protected from airborne pathogens.
Between Weight Lifting Equipment
Fitness enthusiasts are often close to one another in weight rooms. Portable sneeze guards are a fantastic solution for weight rooms because they can easily be moved around to meet your needs. Sneeze guards make a great safety barrier in between weight lifting equipment, such as:
- Bench presses
- Squat machines
- Free weight areas
- Dumbbell stations
- Cable machines
Between Cardio Equipment
Cardio increases the heart rate, and in turn, the respiratory system is more active during cardio. Often, cardio machines in fitness centers are in very close proximity to one another. This proximity combined with intense exercise increases the risk of catching or spreading airborne germs. Large sneeze guards are the perfect way to create a barrier between cardio machines and keep fitness enthusiasts safe. Sneeze guards work effectively between cardio equipment, such as:
- Elliptical machines
- Stair climbers
- Rowing machines
- Stationary bikes
- Ladder machines
Locker rooms and restrooms in gyms can significantly benefit from sneeze guards. Often, air ventilation isn’t as strong in areas like locker rooms, so when multiple people use the space, the risk for viral transmission increases. Clients can still utilize locker rooms in fitness centers if safety protocols are put in place, such as installing sneeze guards. Gym owners can install protective barriers in locker rooms between:
Keep Your Fitness Center Protected With Sneeze Guards
Installing sneeze guards helps keep the doors of your gym open, all while protecting visitors and staff members from infectious germs. Take advantage of the creative ready-made solutions available to you, or contact Barrier Lab to get started on a customized design for your fitness center. Healthy lifestyles often begin at the gym, and they can continue with the help of sneeze guards.