A MALVERN woman has spoken of her shock at being asked by gym staff to stop dancing on a treadmill.
Self-employed tax accountant Karen Lowen from Ash Close visited the gym at Malvern Splash in Priory Road on Friday, March 28 and got on the treadmill as normal.
But when she began to perform some dance moves as she had been doing for some time she was approached by a member of staff who asked her to stop.
“I was told I wasn’t walking or running in a prescribed manner,” she said.
“I was shocked – I said I wasn’t doing anything that put me or anyone else at risk but they wouldn’t listen.
“They said I could use the dance studio if I wanted but when I asked them if there would be a treadmill in there they said no.”
Treadmill dancing is a method of exercise becoming increasingly popular in America but largely unknown in the UK. Although some people turn around and face the opposite direction while performing the workout, Mrs Lowen – who paid £33 a month for her membership – said the most she had ever done was turn sideways.
“It’s really just a combination of walking and running,” she said.
“The riskiest I’ve ever done is to go sideways, I’ve never turned fully around.
“I’m not really a gym person – I was told by my doctor to start exercising because I’ve got thyroid problems and this was what kept me coming back. “I’m really quite shocked that anyone could find me a risk in any way.”
A spokesman from management company Everyone Active said: “The primary concern for Everyone Active is the safety of our customers whilst they are using our facilities.
“In this particular instance we felt that the manoeuvre being performed by Mrs Lowen on the treadmill was putting her at risk of injury so we offered her alternative space in which to perform her activities. “After declining this offer we had no choice but to ask Mrs Lowen to stop engaging in this activity whilst on the treadmill. “We always try to accommodate the different activities that our members want to perform in our leisure centre but feel that, on this occasion, the activity was putting the member at risk of injury and so had to intervene.”
Mrs Lowen’s membership of the gym has since been cancelled and she has instead signed up at nearby Malvern Spa, where staff have reviewed her method of exercising and given her the go-ahead to carry on.