Life Time, a national gym chain, has removed cable news channels from the televisions in all of their 130 locations.
The company announced on Jan. 4 that they would no longer have CNN, FOX or MSNBC available on the large televisions in the cardio and fitness areas, as part of their “desire to uphold a positive, healthy way of life environment,” a spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
Life Time says the change came after “many member requests over time.”
“We made the decision to remove cable news channels from the large TV screens in the cardio and fitness floor areas at the start of 2018,” they explained in a statement. “This 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.”
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However, Life Time adds, gym patrons can still watch cable news channels on the small screens attached to individual cardio machines, available at most of their gyms, or on personal devices using the gym’s Wi-Fi.
The announcement came with mixed feelings from gym-goers, with some supporting the decision to reduce the “constant barrage of negativity” from cable news, and others calling it “censorship.”
Six days after the announcement, the Life Time representative emphasized that they “certainly are not against news delivered accurately and respectfully, and we intend to continue to have appropriate news channels on some of our large screens.”