Fitness gear offers online access

Nov. 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Makers of fitness equipment with Internet access are getting a bit of push back from U.S. gym operators who say it isn't "worth the money quite yet."

While some equipment makers and gymnasiums offer television viewing to consumers sweating it out on the elliptical machine or the stationary bicycle, two equipment makers, Life Fitness and Precor, have begun offering machines with Internet access built in -- a treadmill with a touch-sensitive screen on the console, for example.

"I think it's fair to say that the industry is heading in this direction," said Doug Johns, Precor vice president for global marketing and product management.

"Technology is moving really quick," said Life Fitness President Chris Clawson. "People have a desire to get what's in their purse connected with everything else."

Some in the industry are not convinced touch-screen Internet access will appeal to people working up a sweat, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

"The feedback we get from our members hasn't been overwhelming that they want Internet on their personal viewing screen," said Gretchen Collins, director of fitness for Chicago's high-end East Bank Club. "I just don't think it's worth the money quite yet. We'll have to see."

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