A critical component to any gym or fitness area is protective gym mats. Gym mats protect both the floor as well as the athletes exercising in the facility. Protecting the floor is important, as accumulated damage may become extremely costly to replace over time. Of greater importance is protecting the patrons who frequent the fitness center, however. Many fitness centers may fall short of protecting their guests, despite attempts to keep safety as the number one priority. This due primarily to the fact that fitness centers are typically a diverse landscape, consisting of many different areas that each have unique safety needs. The best way to anticipate all safety needs is to break the facility down into several smaller regions and assess the unique needs of each.
Breaking It Down: Top 5 Areas Every Gym Should Protect
1. Free Weight Areas
The area of the fitness center that houses the free weights is perhaps the most dangerous places in the entire facility. There, heavy weights in excess of 50lbs are routinely tossed around by patrons who are sometimes too tired to control them. This presents a very real concern for damage, both to floor spaces and patrons. Fortunately, these areas are typically the first to be outfitted with protective gym mats because the risk for injury and damage is so obvious. Everlast gym mats are a very popular safety matting option among fitness centers, and the Everlast brand is perhaps the most well known and trusted in the industry. Laser-cut and capable of absorbing massive amounts of shock, these protective mats fit end-to-end to cover large floor spaces in a seamless fashion.
2. Stretching Rooms
Stretching rooms are a dangerous place for patrons as well, however for very different reason. Whereas the greatest danger in free weight areas are heavy weights, the greatest cause for concern in stretching rooms are the guests themselves. Whether warming up before a work-out or cooling down afterward, patrons may easily over-stretch themselves and sustain very serious injury. It is recommended a two-pronged approach be taken to prevent this problem. First, fitness centers should make use of highly visible signage that warns guests not to over-exert themselves in stretching areas. Signs may also be used to demonstrate how stretching should and should not be conducted. Finally, lightweight / stand-alone Equinox gym mats can be used to provide adequate padding on which patrons may stand, sit, or lie to safely perform stretching exercises.
3. Locker Rooms
Locker rooms are hazardous environments for two main reasons, both of which are related to moisture buildup. First, excessive moisture accumulation makes locker rooms and sauna areas a breeding ground for bacteria and other hazardous agents. Excessive moisture buildup also makes tile, wood, and marble floor spaces very slippery. To safeguard against each of these issues, facility owners may use locker room mats to create an elevated, dry, and safe walking space throughout aisles, stalls, and changing areas. Locker room mats come in a variety of styles, and each features perforated slits for easy water drainage.
4. Juice Bars, Apparel Sections, & Service Areas
When properly managed, juice bars, apparel sections, and general service areas present a minimal hazard to guests. Nevertheless, it is important to take appropriate safety measures by making sure floor spaces stay clean, neat, and free of spills / debris. Employees who work these areas during the day must stay alert, looking to remedy accidents and hazardous situations as they arise.
5. Entrances / Exits
As with any facility, the entryway through which patrons enter and exit presents a very substantial risk for slip-and-fall accidents. It is critical that the facility uses an entrance matting solution that will clean, trap, and contain debris before it has a chance to accumulate and cause accidents. Such an entrance matting solution must be chosen with 3 major things in mind: Facility traffic, weather, and brand image.
Gym Mat Consultation & FAQ
For additional assistance in outfitting your fitness facility with gym mats and locker room safety equipment, please call Eagle Mat and Floor Products toll free at 1-877-333-1018. Readers are also invited to visit the Gym Mats FAQ to learn more about protecting fitness center floor spaces and patrons.