Yikes! Turns out there could be a LOT of bacteria on your yoga mat 1 year ago

Yikes! Turns out there could be a LOT of bacteria on your yoga mat

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news once again, but it looks like your yoga mat is a bacteria magnet.

Elle USA has conducted some extensive research into the filth levels of your favourite piece of workout equipment, and well, it's not great news.

Dr Robert Lahita is a professor at Rutgers School of medicine, specialising in microbiology and he is also a yoga practitioner.

He says: "The yoga mat is a very fertile source of infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned."

"Yoga mats are a fairly modern invention, which has helped revolutionize the practice, and, judging by the many women toting them across town, become a fairly chic fashion accessory along the way. But in the world of microbiology, a yoga mat is considered to be a "fomite".

A fomite is defined as 'an inanimate object used to spread an infection'.

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The writers at Elle then went on to test yoga mats in gyms around New York and two weeks later they found Micrococcus luteus and Empedobacter brevis, which are both dangerous but only if you are immunosuppressed.

However, there are also risks of finding streptococcus bacteria, ringworm and athlete's foot lurking on your yoga mat, and their best advice is to clean your mat with bleach diluted in water, but not too much as a waterlogged mat becomes even more of a bacterial playground.