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Blogging Code of Ethics for Fitness Blogs?

Posted Aug 25 2008 2:25pm

Be Online

This past Friday I was in southern California presenting a workshop entitled “Blogging for Health, Fitness, and Wellness Professionals.” Although the 4-hour workshop began with an overview of blogging, the main focus was in teaching how to customize and utilize blogs within the health, fitness, and wellness profession.

The workshop was held in one of San Diego’s premiere computer labs ( MicroTek ) where the participants had access to the internet and were able to create their blogs - live - during the presentation. Continuing education credits for ACE , AFAA , CanFitPro , and NASM were also offered.

During our group discussions, we stumbled upon a very interesting ethical question:

“Should there be a blogging code of ethics for health, fitness, and wellness blogs?”

Back when I wrote about blogging for health in an earlier post last October , I posed the question “why were only a small percentage of the bloggers listed in the Top 100 Health & Fitness Blogs actually written by certified and educated health and fitness professionals?”

The healthcare industry has taken to blogging very quickly. So much so, that they have their own annual conference (Blogging for Healthcare) and their ow n code of ethics “ Blogging Code for Healthcare Professionals and Patients .” Read the full code of ethics here. All medical practitioners (and patients) who have been approved as healthcare bloggers, showcase their healthcare blogger ‘code of ethics’ emblem directly on their blog.

Hence the question - should a blogging code be created for the fitness & wellness industry?

Would creating a code elevate and separate the professional blogs from those blogs written by general health and fitness enthusiasts (such as those listed in the Top 100)? Could this be a way our professionals can showcase their talents and expertise within the online community? If you were your client, wouldn’t you rather read a health-fitness approved blog? And if a code did exist - what would be its standards?

As technology advances and our clients venture into digital worlds and online communities, we will have to address these questions appropriately. Are we, as an industry, prepared?

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