Handshakes and hand hygiene for the UK’s top athletes


Today the handshake amongst athletes in the Olympics and other high profile sport events has become a sign of good sportsmanship, often marking the start of any match, race or competition.

Bringing hand hygiene to the forefront of the 2012 Olympic Games for the GB team, Doctor Ian McCurdie, Medical Officer for the British Olympic Authority, expressed his concerns around the dangers of spreading germs through shaking hands during the games. Although a ban on handshakes for the GB team has been rejected by the Government, British athletes were still being discouraged from shaking hands by medical professionals to avoid illness before they compete.

With 10,500 athletes from 200 countries taking part in the games, Emma Nourry, UK Trade Marketing Manager at Georgia-Pacific for the Lotus Professional® brand, discusses how choosing the right hand hygiene products can limit the cross contamination of germs within sports facilities and how good hand hygiene can help keep athletes fit and healthy.

Stop bacteria in its tracks

Viruses and bacteria spread from person to person in many ways, most commonly through physical contact, either on hands or another parts of the body. Living for up to 48 hours on surfaces, everything a person comes into contact with, including a handshake, has the potential to harbour viruses and bugs that could contaminate hands. As a result, hygiene considerations before eating food, after visiting the washroom and after coughing or sneezing are important in stopping the spread of germs in their tracks.

Handshakes are not the only hygiene consideration Olympic athletes and other sports people need to be aware of. During the Games a staggering 9,000 items of sports equipment were used by multiple athletes, each point of contact presenting opportunities for bugs and germs to spread from one athlete to another. Contact sports and changing facilities also provide opportunities for germs to spread, most specifically sports where facilities are shared and water sports, where changing rooms can be wet, encouraging faster spread of bacteria.

Helping to maintain hygienic hands, the touchless enMotion® range of Antibacterial Foam Soap, Foam Hand Sanitizer and Paper Towel dispensers from the Lotus Professional® brand offer uncompromising hand hygiene in the washroom, changing room or key work areas for major sports facilities. Integrating touchless technology, the enMotion® range dispenses the optimum amount of Foam soap, sanitizer or paper towel required, helping to reduce both the cost-in-use and the time spent maintaining them.

Coming complete with a new pump with each refill, the touchless enMotion® Foam Soap and sanitizer dispensers reduce the risk of the cross-contamination of germs from dispensers to hands. Additionally the touchless enMotion® Paper Towel dispenser provides an adjustable paper length to meet the needs of each facility, whilst the whole range is available in a number of designs including stainless steel, water resistant and smaller enMotion® Impulse™ models.

Easy solutions for sporting events

A high footfall of spectators at sporting events, such as the Olympics and major football matches, puts a huge pressure on domestic managers and staff, most specifically in food service and washroom areas, to maintain hygiene standards and ensure toilet tissue, paper towel, multi-use wipers and soap dispensers are constantly stocked.

Perfect for high traffic washrooms, the SmartOne® toilet tissue range offers increased hygiene benefits and cost-in-use benefits. The fully enclosed roll means you only ever touch the sheet taken, which significantly reduces the possibility of cross-contamination. The single sheet dispensers offer a convenient way to control costs as trials have shown that the SmartOne® dispenser can reduce consumption by up to 40%. Additionally the SmartOne® Mini Double dispenser can be topped-up-in-use, ensuring the dispenser need never run out.

For general cleaning and maintenance, domestic staff at busy sporting facilities require quick access to paper towels and wipes. The Reflex® Wiper System from the Lotus Professional® brand provides busy staff with an economical and multipurpose wiping solution, for use across all areas of the site. Its one hand use delivers fast and controlled wiping so you can keep wiping on the go. The dispenser is not touched and each roll is film wrapped inside the dispenser helping to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Keeping up with napkin demand

Dining areas and grab-and-go food stalls within sports venues are subject to a burst of heavy usage during sport events as hungry spectators quickly purchase food during short breaks. Ensuring napkins are easy to access and well stocked at peak times is a challenge for such facilities; as such the JustOne® Napkin Dispenser range from the Lotus Professional® brand is an ideal solution for venues struggling to keep up with the demand for napkins. Benefiting from a selection of dispensing options, the single sheet dispensing ensures users only touch the napkin they take improving hygiene whilst at the same time reduces consumption by up to 30%.

Developing hygienic and cost effective solutions for a variety of sectors, the Lotus Professional® brand offer a complete approach to hygiene, wiping and foodservice solutions making them an ideal choice for sports venues, training grounds and public use fitness facilities.

For more information about any of the Lotus Professional® product range please call 0114 2856666, or visit www.lotusprofessional.co.uk.

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