Over the years, social media and associated technologies have become an integral part of the contemporary society with many platforms reporting significant expansion not only in usage but also the range of use. Indeed, the rapid development of technology in recent years has influenced social media to become a pervasive means of sourcing information about health including fitness and nutrition. The hashtag fitspiration is currently often used within online fitness culture to describe individuals dedicated to providing fitness coaching on an online platform. The paper argues as society becomes increasingly interested in health trends, the relevancy of online fitness coaching is likely to increase and so are the associated characteristics such as the legal and financial risks and issues to consider in the business.
Although much of what has been replaced by computers and associated technologies such as the internet is often described as impersonal, that is not the case for the majority of the well-crafted online personal fitness programs. Online personal training describes a system where users are given personalized training program to perform in the comfort of their own homes or gyms without the face to face supervision of a trainer (Jong & Drummond, 2016). While the particulars of the training differ from site to site and from trainer to trainer, online fitness coaching describes the aspect of receiving training at the mere click of a button. Even though the element of supervision can be a deal breaker for some people who hold the perception that fitness coaching is grounded on personal attention, there are plenty of benefits associated with online fitness coaching including convenience and cost (Andreasson & Johansson, 2013). Indeed, rather than being forced to schedule an hour with a personal trainer, online fitness coaching implies an individual can log in at any time of his or her convenience and start the workouts.
Online fitness coaching is a business idea that appeals to me since it was the concept of internet-based personal training that assisted me in managing my aversion to working out. I would not necessarily claim that I was overweight, but I felt I could achieve a better look with a little bit of working out during my early young adult years. Since I had several commitments including school work and ongoing social commitments a fact that limited the time I had for other extra curriculum activities. I opted for online fitness because it was not affordable for my tight budget but also convenient for my schedule. Venturing into this business will allow me to provide similar services to individuals in the same position I was in a few years ago.
Unlike opening a physical fitness center where copyright is relatively easy to address since the business in more ways than one operates on the same entities as many other businesses activities, addressing copyright issues in an online fitness is more involving. The common copyright issues in working on an online platform include the aspects of image ownership (Ajmihrzad, 2017). Undeniably, some of the typical copyright responsibilities as an online fitness business owner and athlete include; acknowledging it is illegal to post or publish pictures of oneself in one’s website or social media pages unless the individual has obtained a commercial license or applied for and received written permission from the copyright owner. Additionally, making an effort to purchase images or image files from photographers does not imply the transfer of copyright since the purchase may merely encompass personal use rather than a business application. On the same note, it is against the law for an individual, as an owner of online fitness business to submit images that he or she is not the copyright owner or have a commercial license to magazines, websites among other publications (Rabe, 2017).
Additionally, it is vital for an individual as the copyright of specific images to protect the pictures and how they are used. Notably, the copyright issues in the online platform extend beyond the business owner to encompass the individuals who utilize the services. For instance, in the event an individual is receiving financial compensation of any form for posting images or any other commercial activities implies there is an aspect of copyright infringement.
Like any other business, an online fitness coaching business is associated with real-time risks and rewards. Indeed, while the convenience and the reduced costs associated with online personal training implies that there will always be a market for internet-based personal trainers, it is crucial to take into account many risks associated with operating in a visual environment (Andreasson & Johansson, 2013). Some of the common issues in online personal training is the perception that no marketing effort is necessary, inability to adapt and the aspect of being outcompeted (Rabe, 2017). Since the success of an online coaching business is grounded on the ability to found a particular market niche that appeal to the majority of the individuals in today’s contemporary environment, it is essential to recognize the necessity of continually adapting and marketing the changes in efforts of not only remaining relevant but also avoiding the aspect of being outcompeted.
In the past two decades, society has witnessed an upsurge of internet utilization in many diverse areas including personal training an activity that was previously perceived as one of the most personal-centered business. However, specific attributes of the internet and associated technologies such as convenience and fact that they are relatively cheap illustrate that more and more individuals are demanding these activities. Online fitness coaching initiative appeals to me since at one point in my life I relied on these services to keep fit and by extension remain healthy. While no one can argue that online fitness coaching is only likely to expand in the next decade, it is essential for both business owners and individuals who utilize these services to recognize the critical copyright issues particularly as it relates to the publication of images to avoid instances of copyright infringements. Essentially, similar to any other business, online fitness coaching is associated with various risks and rewards that require quantification and effective planning to avoid failure.
Ajmihrzad. (2017). The five systems you need to start a profitable online fitness coaching business. 1-17.
Andreasson, J., & Johansson, T. (2013). Female fitness in the blogosphere: Gender, health, and the body. Sage Open, 1-10.
Andreasson, J., & Johansson, T. (2013). The health guru: Masculinity and fitness coaching in the blogosphere. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 277-290.
Jong, S. T., & Drummond, M. N. (2016). Exploring online fitness culture and young females. Leisure Studies, 1-14.
Rabe, A. (2017, April 12). Legal risks and issues to consider for fitness trainers working online. Retrieved May 11, 2019, from Fit Legal: https://fitlegally.com/legal-risks-issues-consider-fitness-trainers-working-online/