Treadmills are among the most popular exercise equipments available in a gym. But despite the fact that everybody’s using them, it seems that they can lead to extreme injuries and even death if not used properly.
Last week, the CEO of Survey Monkey, Dave Goldberg, died because of extensive injuries that he sustained after falling off a treadmill. It seems that he suffered severe trauma to the head and ultimately died because he had lost too much blood before being taken to the hospital.
His death was extremely shocking not only for his family and friends, but also for the general public because treadmills have never been regarded at as being dangerous.
However, health officials seem to disagree with that and would like to raise awareness about the dangers of not using a treadmill properly.
People who want to exercise on this kind of equipment should take the time to learn how it works exactly and what are the risk factors involved. And while it might seem laughable that something as common as a treadmill comes with risk factors, it turns out there are quite a few of them.
When using it for the first time, it is highly advisable that it set on walking mode, in order to get used to the general feeling. Walking and moreover, running on a treadmill is very different from doing so on pavement, because it involves a moving surface and therefore, people might lose their balance quite easily.
This is why it is of the highest importance to not ignore the safety equipment. A treadmill comes with an emergency stop mechanism that should be attached to your clothes, so that in the case that you fall, the treadmill stops running.
It not advisable to hold it in your hand, because if you fall, there’s a high chance that the you will still be holding it when you hit the floor. Therefore the treadmill will still be running when you do, and you are in the danger of sustaining extensive burns due to friction.
After this important step, if everything feel right and you got used to the general feeling of it, then it is safe to turn it to running mode, but gradually, so it does not take you by surprise. Specialists suggest that you spend your first day walking on it and then, after switching to running, the speed should be increased progressively.
In addition to this, it is essential that you not become distracted by anything around you, such as a phone or a TV, because it might contribute to the loss of balance and you can very easily fall.
Also, health specialists do not recommend that treadmills be used by people suffering from diseases that can be exacerbated by effort, such as chronic cardiac conditions.
As for their reputation, it appears that treadmills have caused a total of 30 deaths between 2003 and 2012, which means an average of 3 deaths per year. When compared to other causes of death, it turns out this is less common then lightning strikes. So, it’s not the time to panic just yet!
However, treadmills do seem to cause the most injuries associated to exercise equipment. They were responsible for 24,400 out of 62,700 cases registered in 2014 in the US, rendering them less safe than swimming pools, trampolines and weight lifting equipment.
Taking everything into consideration, it is vital to be extremely careful when thinking about getting on a treadmill. And the few minutes you take to assess how to conduct yourself while on it might make the difference between a health workout and serious injuries.
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