A fitness chain called Life Time has removed cable news from the TVs in all of their locations, saying that the coverage stresses out members.
Life Time, based in Minnesota, has 130 locations in 27 states. The company prides itself on promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and said that cable news does not promote that for its members.
Life Time didn't discriminate either, as both left and right-leaning networks were banned from their gyms as of this month. In a statement to The New York Times, the fitness chain said it would continue to air local news.
Natalie Bushaw, a Life Time spokeswoman, wrote in an email that the decision “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."
As expected, many members were pleased that the gym fulfilled their requests. In today's world, people on both sides of the political spectrum often see 24-hour news coverage as divisive. Life Time says members repeatedly described the broadcasts as a source of "negativity."
Others have been angered by the sudden lack of news updates in the gym, saying that people who don't want to watch it have plenty of other screens to look at. Customers have added that Life Time gave no public notice before making the change, which disrupted the morning routine of some patrons.
In her email, Bushaw declined to specify how many requests had been made to remove the news.
“Suffice it to say, this has been a growing issue over years, not weeks or months," she wrote. "Ultimately, we believe this change is consistent with the desires of the overall membership.”