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As obesity levels soar and time pressed individuals look for ways to stay fit and healthy, gym membership offers a great opportunity to combine socialising with regular exercise.

However, in order for members to enjoy visiting a gym it’s important the environment is suitable. Hygiene, quality and variety of equipment along with professional support are all-important and can have a significant influence on membership numbers.

However, in addition to selecting the right facilities, you also need to consider the type of floor you will install. Flooring can often be overlooked, but when you reflect on the benefits of having quality matting in place, you can quickly see the importance.

Gym matting can:

  1. Protect the underlying floor
  2. Improve the visual appearance of the gym space with colours – it’s even possible to incorporate branding into the matting
  3. Protect the body, absorb impact and support joints
  4. Improve comfort when exercising (who wants to lie on a hard stone floor?)
  5. Minimise the occurrence of minor bumps and bruises
  6. Promotes hygiene by providing a surface which can be easily cleaned and sanitised
  7. Provides a level, stable surface for both equipment and gym users
  8. Absorbs the sound of falling weights

As you can see gym matting offers many benefits to both the gym owner and the gym user. But which type of mat should you install? Here are four ideas to help you decide:

1.      Mat choice

The type of activity that takes place in your gym will determine your mat selection. For example:

  • High impact, foam filled floor mats are useful to create standalone exercise areas
  • Crash mats vary in thickness depending on the activity they are used for and often have a non-slip base to prevent the mat moving when it’s being used
  • Interlocking tiles can add colour to the gym, are easy to install and can cover a large area
  • Rolled rubber flooring is a good choice if you wish to cover a large floor area quickly
  • Lightweight, portable exercise mats are useful for yoga and aerobics classes

2.      Gym hygiene:

Exercise heats up the body and will cause sweat to be deposited on equipment and flooring. In order to promote good hygiene you need to ensure your matting can be cleaned and sanitised easily. In addition, watch out for products that are anti-fungal, antibacterial and hypoallergenic too.

3.      Durability:

If your gym has a high number of visitors you will need you matting to be hardwearing. Damaged matting can lead to poor hygiene and can also pose a risk of injury. In addition, poor quality matting may need replacing more frequently which can pose a significant inconvenience if it means equipment needs to be temporarily removed.

4.      Brand identity:

Some types of gym mat can be customised with your logo or supplied in your corporate colours. This makes them a great product for creating a professional look and feel to your gym.

Matting out your gym is an important job that you’ll want to get right. Which type of matting do you need?

Neil Maycock writes articles for Sports Mats Direct providers of exercise mats and sports matting