Gyms in the U.K. are starting to ban members from taking photos and recording workout videos in facilities — amid growing privacy concerns.
According to a report by The Guardian this weekend, a growing number of gyms in the U.K. are banning members taking selfies and filming their workout.
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Influencers, fitness instructors, and even regular gym-goers are increasingly using their smartphones to take photographs and videos of their progress, routines, and techniques to post on social media.
However, the publication reports this behavior has led to concerns about privacy, public bullying, as well as complaints about camera and lighting equipment taking up the gym floor. Although most gyms say that members must seek consent from others, this often does not happen in practice and other people are being inadvertently filmed for social media images.
As a result, The Guardian reports that some gyms are cracking down on the practice of taking photos altogether, restricting when and where people can film, or instructing people to ask for explicit consent from all individuals around them when filming.
Virgin Active, which has 32 gyms across the U.K., has now instituted a policy where members could be asked to delete their images or videos if others in the facility raise a concern about it.
Fitness First, which has 28 facilities in England, other users who may end up in video or pictures must give their explicit permission.
Meanwhile, Pure Muscles Gym in Walthamstow, north London, has banned the use of tripods at weekends altogether.
“It is important to respect one another’s privacy, which is why our gym rules clearly state that people should not take photographs or videos on the premises unless they have permission,” a spokesperson for PureGym, which has more than 340 gyms across the country, tells The Guardian.
“We also ask people to not post remarks or imagery to the internet, including social media platforms, that may identify another person.”
Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim. pic.twitter.com/34g9265KXb
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 21, 2023
Earlier this year, TikToker Jessica Fernandez apologized after she received an onslaught of backlash for a video calling a man a “weirdo” while she filmed him interacting with her in the gym.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.