Time and fear keep students out of the shower at school
Gym class. The class where students are required to run a mile, dodge some balls and suit out into gym clothes. Now that it’s almost time to go about their day and change back into everyday clothes.
Before it was common to shower after gym class, but now students in middle and high school don’t seem to shower after working out. Now that students are back to school it’s important to know a few ways to stay clean and refreshed all day.
Shirley Gooch, a Kingman High School girls gym coach, said it’s an issue that students don’t shower after gym class since it’s not required. Gooch has coached Amateur Athletic Union and middle school track and field.
“Since it’s not mandatory anymore, back in the days it was mandatory, but it all comes down to time,” she said. “It’s a fast-paced world and sometimes they don’t have time to shower.”
After finishing all the required workout time in gym class, by the time students get back into the locker rooms there isn’t much time to shower, get dressed and go on to the next class.
“They have to have their minutes of physical activity, so the more time we’re spending changing clothes and showering it would probably be down to 15 minutes of physical activity,” Gooch said.
Waiting to shower until getting home doesn’t seem like a big issue, but there are some health-related consequences for not showering after breaking a sweat.
One of the concerns can be getting a staph infection. Staph infections are commonly found on the skin or nose. They sometimes won’t cause problems, or they will result in only minor skin infections.
According to the Mayo Clinic, staph infections can be spread through cuts, abrasions or skin-to-skin contact. They can also be spread in the locker room by sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.
Gooch said it’s more common with athletes who lift weights.
“You’re sweating on a rusty bar then the next person uses it and the next person that uses it may have an open sore then that infection spreads, so that is something that we can bring more awareness to,” she said.
Not showering after working out can also lead to body odor, and an increase in bacteria and acne.
Self-esteem can be another reason students don’t want to shower after gym class. Gooch said some students are less fortunate than others, so they can be ashamed for what they are wearing underneath, or be afraid of body shaming.
“We see that a lot. Students don’t want to show their body in front of others,” she said.
Still, Gooch said, students can go into the bathroom stall and freshen up.
If students have a few minutes to get ready to continue their day after gym class, a few ways to keep clean and refreshed if there isn’t time to shower is to invest in wet cleansing wipes, bring a change of undergarments, use hand sanitizer, or use a damp cloth to wipe off sweat.
Gooch makes sure to tell her students to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as gym class is over.