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Cleaning guidelines to give your customers the safest experience after lockdown

Over the last few months, health has certainly risen to the top of the list of personal priorities for all of us. After the unprecedented lockdown that, in different forms, has affected all countries all over the world we all want to re-start our regular exercise. The situation at international level is improving, Governments in some countries are easing emergency measures and opening Phase 2. The good news is that people are showing a strong demand for fitness and soon facilities will be able to fulfill their need in a safe and professional way.

So, now more than ever it’s important to prepare the ground for the next phase post lock-down and be ready to welcome customers back to your facility. Technogym want to be by fitness centers’ side,  providing support, advice and services at this crucial time. That’s why at Technogym we offer a complete Total Wellness Solution, to support facilities' reopening: one of the key point to consider first, is surely how to clean the center and the maintenance needed after a long stop: in this article we’ll go through the guidelines for cleaning, sanitizing and maintaining Technogym products.

In the aftermath of pandemy, keeping equipment clean and well-maintained is more important than ever for all fitness facilities.

As the world leader in fitness and wellness smart products and digital training solutions, we’ve got the best recommendations on cleaning and maintaining your equipment to give your customers the best experience when they come back to your facility.

Focus and Plan

When your facility reopens, cleanliness will be essential. Many customers will be eager to return to their fitness regime, but will have a new level of concern around safety. You should demonstrate a serious focus on cleanliness and disinfection of equipment and training spaces.

You need to maintain your equipment during lockdown and after reopening to ensure customers are able to train in the best environment.

The more prepared you are, the better the customer experience will be. Create a proactive plan for cleaning and maintenance well before lock-down restrictions are lifted.

Cleanliness – Key To Customer Satisfaction

A strong cleaning regime is nothing new for fitness facilities, but after lockdown your customers and staff will have a heightened awareness of hygiene. Make sure you have a strong regime in place across all equipment (supported by your staff), especially in areas which involve the execution of exercise. That means handles, touchscreens, keyboards – and any other places where regular contact is required.

Cleanliness underpins the promise of health a fitness facility offers. IHRSA's Guide to Health Club Cleanliness found 90% of respondents were more likely to renew their gym membership if the facility was well cleaned. And cleanliness affects the training quality and experience of those who are already loyal if standards are not maintained.

After lockdown, it is essential to give a good impression to encourage prospective and new customers to your facility. A 2017 study by ACSM found that 83% of gym members believe the cleanliness of a gym space is important when deciding which gym to join.

Communicate Your Plans

We recommend you get proactive with communicating to customers before they re-enter the facility. Reassure them, tell them the steps you have taken on cleaning, and advise them of your customer expectation, guidelines, and actions.

Maintenance – Keeping Your Members Moving

Maintenance of fitness equipment is extra importance after the period of inactivity during lockdown. Equipment must be checked, and protocols followed, to ensure everything is in good working order when you reopen.

You should also take action whilst your facilities are closed. Pay attention to cardio and strength equipment (with extra focus on cardio equipment, which has been specifically designed for movement particularly at fixed points, such as the footrest belt and bearings).  Treadmills and belt-driven bikes require care. We recommend you switch them on and use them once a month for an extended stop period to restore transmission and correct pressure on the belts.

Download our Cleaning and Disinfection Guidelines

7 Guidelines to Ensure Good Hygiene Standards

The International Health, Racquet, and Sports Club Association outlines these seven effective guidelines for the hygiene of facilities.

  • Set up dispensers of non-alcoholic hand disinfectants, especially in cardio areas.
  • Offer equipment cleaning wipes for immediate cleaning of equipment after use.
  • Introduce signs asking customers to keep equipment clean - a proactive step that shows the fitness centre is taking hygiene seriously.
  • Employees will have to regularly monitor and implement cleaning guidelines. Every member of staff - fitness professionals, front of house staff, general managers, fitness managers - should play their part.
  • Bathrooms, showers and changing rooms - the most difficult areas to maintain - are where members judge the work of the fitness centres. IHRSA found that 75% of members judge a facility's standards of cleanliness based on their toilets. It will be crucial to keep them in a perfect state of cleanliness.
  • Have clear responsibilities and actions for protocols. Define when and how this protocol will be introduced and followed, and how standards will be reviewed.
  • Ensure all protocols provide the best customer experience. If customers give feedback or areas of improvement about the cleanliness of the equipment or environments, offer prompt action and review the protocols in place.

Quick-Fire Equipment Guidance

  • Treadmills: without switching on the machine, rotate the running belt for one third of the total length to change its position and avoid the roller shaping the belt. Do this every two weeks – it’s important!
  • Other cardio machines: run them mechanically with three complete runs every two weeks to keep all mechanisms lubricated and prevent the belts from getting misshaped.
  • Self-powered Cardio and Skillmill Consoles: recharge the battery once every two weeks for 6-8 hours.
  • Strength equipment: lubricate the weight stack guide rod bars (if you can access them without tools) with silicone oil to keep them clean and ready for use. Run a full exercise every two weeks (3 repetitions with 5Kg slowly to the maximum extension and back). This will keep the bars clean and lubricated.
  • Chromed parts: keep in good condition by cleaning with silicone oil, especially when cleaning products have been sprayed.
  • Avoid applying disinfecting cleaner directly on the machine (especially electronic units). Spray it on a cloth and then clean the equipment.
Good cleaning and maintenance protocols are smart business sense. They will give your existing customers, and prospective customers, reassurance that you are organised, customer focused, and take hygiene seriously. Be sure to plan ahead so you have plenty of time to consider the guidelines, implement the required actions, and get the support of your staff and customers before you reopen after lockdown.

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