Gym Chain Bans Cable News From Its Facilities, Citing Health Reasons
News| | By Brad Kallet
Flat-screen televisions have become as commonplace as benches and cardio machines in gyms across the United States. Generally, sports highlights and cable news are the go-to programming options as you walk around the weight room.
One gym chain, however, has decided that cable news can negatively affect exercisers’ workouts and mindsets, and recently made the controversial decision to pull the plug on such networks in its facilities.
Life Time, which has 130 locations in 27 states, has banned cable news on the flat-screen TVs in its locations. It doesn’t discriminate based on personal politics; both left-leaning MSNBC and right-leaning Fox News — and everything in between — are no longer available. The local news will still be televised, however.
This new policy was “based on many member requests received over time across the country, and in keeping with our overall healthy way of life philosophy and commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of polarizing or politically charged content,” Natalie Bushaw, a Life Time spokeswoman, wrote in an email to The New York Times.
Our perspective on the recent tv programming change in our clubs. pic.twitter.com/r81EQFjZdE
— Life Time (@lifetimefitness) January 4, 2018
“Suffice it to say, this has been a growing issue over years, not weeks or months,” Bushaw told The New York Times. “Ultimately, we believe this change is consistent with the desires of the overall membership.”
The decision has garnered mixed reactions from members. Supporters of the policy agree that not having cable news front and center will lift people’s spirits, considering that content on such programs is largely negative and divisive. Opponents believe that Life Time is unfairly censoring people and unnecessarily taking away something that people find informative and important.
What do you think? Do you think Life Time made the right decision, or could this set a dangerous precedent and start a slippery slope? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to SHARE this with your friends and family.