Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TV: The Opiate of the Masses

HealthZone, the Toronto Star's health news site, just published an article on "The Best TV to Watch While You Work Out." (It's a Canadian site, so I believe the proper pronunciation is "Work OOT.")

The author explains:
I belong to a cut-rate gym with lots of outlets. Each location has at least one bank of television screens mounted in front of the elliptical and bike machines. This is nice in theory, and it’s better than nothing, but oftentimes three out of four screens will be showing the same thing (usually something totally uninteresting like an “E! True Hollywood Story” on Tawny Kitaen, better watched at home with a bag of chips), and to change the channel involves begging one of the gym attendants to do it for you while concurrently risking the ire of the person on the next machine over who really was caught up in Tawny.

Which is why I frequently go out of my way to visit a branch that has televisions actually mounted right on the workout machines, and a couple dozen channels for me to choose from.
Have we really gotten to the point where a health publication must acknowledge that people won't exercise unless they're able to locate a globo-gym with individual TV screens attached to the cardio machines? Can we no longer squeeze any exercise into our schedules without tethering ourselves to a television?

Hate to say it, but I think the time has come for us to kill our TVs.

Unless, of course, this is a strictly Canadian phenomenon -- in which case, please pass me the remote.