Cable news is bad for your health, says Life Time Fitness, a Minnesota-based gym chain which has decided to ban the airing of CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News in their facilities.
According to The Washington Post, Life Time Fitness will "eliminate all national cable network news stations from the TV screens at its 128 fitness centers in the U.S. and Canada."
In a statement issued on Twitter, the fitness chain said the decision comes as a result of customer feedback and their “commitment to provide family-oriented environments free of consistently negative or politically charged content."
“It is always our goal to meet the majority of members’ expressed requests and we believe this change is consistent with the desires of overall membership as well as our healthy way of life philosophy,” the statement read.
People burning their McDonald's lunch on the treadmill will now be able to watch USA, A&E, Discovery and HGTV. Unfortunately, ESPN will also be among the list of watchable channels. The only TV screens to play cable news will be the personal screens built into the clubs' cardio machines, which come with manual controls.
The chain's spokeswoman Natalie Bushaw told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the technological flexibility in the clubs, which also include free WiFi, will enable people to watch cable news.
Life Time Fitness denouncing cable news as unhealthy stands in line with numerous studies that show consumption of it causes mental unrest in the viewer. Graham C.L. Davey, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Sussex, said cable news exacerbates viewers' worries.
“Our studies also showed that this change in mood exacerbates the viewers own personal worries — even when those worries are not directly relevant to the news stories being broadcast,” Davis said in an email to WaPo.
The Harvard Business Review went even further, saying that just "three minutes of negative news in the morning had a 27 percent greater likelihood of reporting their day as unhappy six to eight hours later, compared to a group that watched positive news focused on uplifting stories of resilience," according to WaPo.