Gym Changing Room Etiquette – A Guideline

Gym Changing Room Etiquette - A Guideline

So, I am at my local gym feeling good about myself for completing my 60 lengths of the pool in my target time, and I am now snugly wrapped up in my towels after relaxing in the sauna followed by a nice refreshing shower.

Out of the corner of my eye I notice a lady strutting her stuff completely naked. She seemed to pack and unpack her bag, visit her locker across the way on numerous occasions, all without a shred of clothing or glimpse of a towel.

Whilst I am no prude, nor am I particularly shy in a communal changing environment, who would be after having had 3 children, it did set me wondering what the guidelines for changing room etiquette actually are. It is not only nudity that comes into question but how you should behave in a sauna, the length of time taken in the shower, and generally making the changing room an extension of your own bathroom.

After some research, both from the internet and asking around my gym going colleagues here is what I came up with:

Cover Up

Nudity should be limited to the taking off and putting on of your underwear. It is not necessary to strut around the changing room naked, it makes some people uncomfortable and after all it is one of the reasons towels exist.

Personal Space

Us girls like a good selection of toiletries, loose pigment makeup, and hair products to make sure we leave the gym looking our best. Well, some of us are off out for the evening or on the way to work. That said, be aware of other people’s personal space and avoid spreading out your belonging across the whole counter underneath the illuminated mirrors. We know you need to fix your face and style your hair, but we all love theLED illuminated mirrors and would like the chance to use them please, so budge up!

Shower Time

Remember you are in a communal area, it’s not your shower. So, whilst there is no need to rush, taking 20 minutes in the shower, exfoliating, shaving, and washing your hair is not acceptable either. We are all hot and sweaty and there may be a queue.

Sauna Savvy

Germs like to breed in warm moist places, as we know. So, please don’t be getting comfortable on the sauna benches without your underwear, swimming costume or wrapped in a towel.

Whilst a good sauna can help you sweat out a cold be mindful that it is also a place where your germs will spread easily so maybe wait until you can be alone to sweat it out.

Clean Up

Is there really any need for empty shampoo and conditioner bottles to be discarded on the floor of the shower, cotton wool pads and tissues to be strewn around the toilet basins? I don’t believe people would treat their own homes in this way, so why do it at the gym? Please show a little courtesy for others using the facilities and put your rubbish in the bins provided.


As well as cleaning up any mess/rubbish you have, it’s always good etiquette to regularly visit the hand sanitiser dispenser and wipe down the gym equipment after use. There’s nothing worse than using a piece of equipment that someone has left their sweat on, so don’t be that person!

Have you had any changing room nightmares? Is there something you hate about communal changing areas? Share with us in the comments.

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