smiling woman stretching on mat in the gym

The convenience of cell phones is undeniable. They keep us connected to friends and loved ones, provdie a lifeline when we are stranded and even make our work lives feel more efficient. Unfortunately, in spite of their convenience, cell phones are also a nuisance. They are everywhere. There don’t seem to be any spaces free from talking, texting, checking and tweeting. There should be. Since phones have not yet been banned from the gym, let’s review cell phone etiquette to reduce the nuisance factor while we are there.

Phone Presence

Aside from the obvious health benefits like lower blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, gym workouts are a great way to reduce stress. When you watch your phone every second you rob yourself of the mini mental health break working out provides. If at all possible unplug while you exercise. Leave your phone in your gym locker and claim exercise time for yourself. If the thought of being unavailable, even for such a short time, sends you into a panic, create an auto reply message with information about when you will be available.

Phone Sounds

It goes without saying that if you must bring your phone to the gym it should be set on silent. Ideally, you should also disable the vibrate feature. Buzzing and beeping from dozens of phones is an unwelcome distraction in any setting, and especially at the gym.

Phone Conversations

Conducting telephone conversations in common areas is an absolute no-no. The discussion is only important to you and the person on the other end of the line. Be considerate by sparing everyone else. Take the call outside of the gym and be sure to step away from the entrance so others can pass freely. It goes without saying that you should not be talking on the phone when you hand off or reclaim your membership card. Choose instead to acknowledge the person behind the desk.

Phone Features

We are all entitled to privacy. Never use your phone to photograph or record anything that happens in the gym. This is doubly true of the locker room. This rule is inviolable.

A recent survey revealed that most of us would give up just about anything before we part with our phones. Many of us sleep with our little friends and even check messages in the middle of the night. There is no denying the value we place on our phones. Still, it is important to observe the rules for common courtesy. Be mindful of how your phone use affects those around you and behave accordingly.