Life Time ditches cable news in gyms for "family-oriented environment"

Bessie Dean
January 13, 2018

Life Time, a Minnesota-based chain of health clubs with 130 locations in 27 states, has chose to remove cable news from TVs in all of its facilities.

For some, particularly amid today's high-velocity news cycle, this daily routine may involve hitting a treadmill or elliptical machine while catching up on cable TV networks.

The big-screen TVs in the gyms will show U.S., A&E, Discovery Channel, HGTV, ESPN and local stations, the Pioneer Press reported.

Peter Glessing, who calls the Life Time in St. Louis Park his workout home, said, "As someone who enjoys consuming news and politics, I'm disappointed that Life Time is limiting this option for members". That means no CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNBC while Life Time members sweat it out.

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The company has 130 locations in 27 states, including six in the D.C. area.

The decision, which she said was made after "an ongoing discussion for some time", kicked in at the start of 2018. "Local news station affiliates are still on our large screens and we have Wi-Fi throughout our clubs so members can view the content of their choice on their own devices". Also familiar, flat-screen TV's throughout the club, tuned in to the cable news networks and broadcasting the latest national coverage for visitors working out. In 2015, the Huffington Post spoke with one psychologist who said violent media exposure can contribute to stress, anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Numerous studies have indeed shown that consumption of emotional content of TV news can affect a person's mental health and mood, according to Graham C.L. Davey, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Sussex. Several Twitter users threatened to pull their Life Time memberships as a result of the decision.

No more fake news.

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