A Cross-Sectional Study of Indoor Tanning in Fitness Centres

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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a human carcinogen and is associated with the development of skin cancer. The promotion of indoor tanning (IT) at fitness centres is of particular concern as it reinforces the idea that a tan is associated with health and fitness. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of IT in fitness centres, with an emphasis on determining the financial costs, adherence to regulations, and safety precautions.


Ten cities, representing 9 different Canadian provinces, were chosen for the study. From each province, a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 fitness centres were randomly selected from the Yellow Pages website. Each fitness centre was contacted by the principal investigator and inquiries were made from a consumer’s perspective.


Of the 203 gyms surveyed, 43% (88/203) offered tanning facilities. Of these, 10.23% (9/88) were found to be noncompliant with the provincial IT regulations for age and/or time between tanning sessions.


Despite the known risks of IT, not all fitness centres are compliant with provincial legislations regarding IT, and some continue to promote tanning access to minors.

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