Moscow’s Judgy New Park Benches Will Weigh You Whether You Like It or Not

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Photo: FitnessFirst

Sorry, outdoors-loving Muscovites: You’ll no longer be able to sit in peace on the Russian capital’s park benches. In a new proposal that will affect the city’s most popular parks, plain old benches are being swapped out for new, judgmental, high-tech scales.

Like a similar campaign in the Netherlands (pictured above), Moscow’s new reality checks are sponsored by gyms, who, well, want more weight-obsessed clients. In addition to displaying your weight (in large numbers) on an electronic panel, the benches will feature gym ads and nutrition-related information. Citizens willing to brave the Russian winter for some fresh air will be able to check out the first benches later this year.

Moscow’s head of media and advertising, Vladimir Chernikov, said that he is for “everything progressive and interesting.” Those pushing the project say many park benches have already been wired with electricity for phone-charging stations, and that the additional cost — at least 50,000 rubles per bench, or $1,300 — will be offset by many eager advertisers.

Fortunately for Americans, the number on the screen will be in kilograms, cutting the raw number down more than half.