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Senior Citizens Outraged After Being Banned from Gym in Ageist Policy Row

Daniel Kim Views  

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A hotel gym in Daegu has sparked controversy by deciding to restrict the registration and use of its facilities for seniors aged 76 and older.

According to related industry sources on June 18, a four-star hotel gym in Suseong-gu, Daegu, posted a notice stating, “Customers aged 76 and older are not allowed to register as members or enter daily.”

The center explained that this unavoidable measure was due to safety concerns, such as the risk of seniors falling or slipping.

They further explained, “Current members aged 76 and older can continue to use the gym if they submit a family consent form stating they will take responsibility in case of an accident. The decision will be made after review.”

They added, “We will apply similar measures to members under the age of 76 who have chronic diseases or mobility issues.”

The news has ignited a heated debate among online users.

Some expressed their disbelief, saying, “Even young people wouldn’t be happy with this policy,” “Who can accept such unreasonable discrimination?” and “Everyone gets old. They should be treated the same later.”

On the other hand, there were opinions such as, “Isn’t this decision made for the safety of the elderly? It’s understandable,” “Working out at a gym can be strenuous for seniors,” and “Who will take responsibility if they get hurt?”

Meanwhile, a gym in Incheon also stirred controversy by posting a notice saying “No Ajummas (middle-aged women) allowed,” implying only refined and elegant women can enter.

The owner, who has been running the gym for over a year, claimed in an interview with Yonhap News TV on June 12. The owner stated, “It was an unavoidable choice because other customers were being affected by a few problematic ones.”

He revealed, “Some women were doing laundry in the locker room for 1-2 hours, stealing items like towels, soaps, and hair dryers, and some have even defecated in the locker room.”

He also claimed that some middle-aged female customers made sexually harassing remarks towards younger female customers, leading to a decrease in revenue.

He said “They sit in a row, judging others’ bodies. Young women felt very uncomfortable and told me directly before leaving the gym.”

However, he stated that the notice was meant as a warning for some troublesome customers to refrain from such behavior, He added, “It’s not that I was trying to make offensive remarks towards women or middle-aged women. Those who get angry seeing that notice are the ones I see as problematic.”

Under the principle of freedom of contract, it is legally possible for business owners to restrict certain customers, such as the No Kids Zone or No Senior Zone.

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Daniel Kim
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