Treadmill-related injuries are a severe public health problem, and treadmill safety should not be taken lightly.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates 22,500 treadmill-related injuries treated in emergency departments in 2019 alone. Over the past three years, an estimated 17 people have died after being injured on treadmills (including a 5-year-old child).
The vast majority of these deaths occurred to individuals under 40 years old who had been using the treadmill for less than one year and/or had not used it more than three times before their injury or death.
Children under the age of eight are most likely to fall off or get caught between the moving belt and a stationary object like a wall or piece of equipment when walking or jogging on a treadmill at home, according to statistics from 2,000 injury incidents.
10 Top Treadmill Safety Tips by Fitness Experts
Following are treadmill safety tips from fitness experts to help you stay safe while using this popular piece of exercise equipment:
1. Keep kids & pets away from the equipment
If you have children, keep them away from the treadmill when used. Children should never be left unattended with moving machinery because it is potentially harmful. It should be kept in a safe place. There is a severe risk of injury if they fall or get caught in the moving belt. The same thing is true for pets – keep them away from the treadmill.
Many treadmills are known to harm youngsters’ hands and arms when they put their hands on the belt or between the belt and the rest of the machine. Therefore, it is suggested that parents only use their treadmill while another person is watching over their children.
2. Give the treadmill adequate space
Don’t place it near furniture, curtains, or other household objects that your pet might be tempted to jump on. To decrease the chance of falling into a wall or being wedged between the treadmill and a wall or a piece of furniture, leave at least 2 feet of room on each side and 6 feet open behind it. Here is a list of the best compact treadmills you can choose from.
3. Turn it off when you’re not using it
This is a commonsense rule that is often overlooked. When you don’t need the treadmill, switching it off is crucial, so youngsters don’t start it up accidentally. The children may also be injured if they contact a still-moving treadmill belt.
4. Start slowly
When you’re just starting, it’s best to walk at a slow speed until you get used to the treadmill. Jogging or running too fast, especially if it is a new treadmill, can lead to falls and other injuries.
5. Monitor your heart rate & ensure safety features
If you’re working out at a high intensity, make sure to monitor your heart rate along with the calories burned. Don’t exceed your target heart rate zone, especially if you’re new to treadmill exercise.
Also make sure your treadmills have safety features like handrails, a belt that stops quickly, and an emergency stop button.
6. Wear the right shoes
Choose supportive shoes with good traction to decrease the chance of slipping on the treadmill belt. When you exercise, you must wear appropriate footwear since they cushion the impact of movement and reduce strain on the joints. It is critical to keep an eye on the moving belt while in operation; feet can easily become entangled where the moving belt meets the machine, and serious injury might result.
Shoes are especially crucial when exercising on a treadmill at the gym since germs and fungus can be spread by bare feet and cause foot injuries. It’s also just unsanitary. The majority of gyms don’t allow members to exercise using equipment without shoes.
7. Always use the safety key while using the treadmill
The safety keys will stop the treadmill immediately if you fall or stumble. Some treadmill accidents happen when users try to catch themselves by grabbing onto the treadmill frame. This can cause more injuries, so it’s best not to do this.
If you’re using a treadmill at home that doesn’t have a safety key, keep an eye on your surroundings and be prepared to jump off quickly if needed.
8. Look straight ahead
When using a treadmill, it’s important to look straight ahead and avoid looking down at the moving belt. This will help you stay balanced and decrease the chance of tripping or falling. Focusing on something in front of you also helps keep your mind off that you’re running on a machine.
9. Never step off a moving treadmill
This is a common cause of treadmill accidents. When you’re done with your workout, be sure to slow down the treadmill and then step off. It’s also important to wait for the belt to stop entirely before walking in front of it.
If you’re using it in a home gym, always unplug the machine when you’re finished using it. This will help prevent injuries if someone accidentally starts it up while you’re not looking.
10. Maintain the machine
Like any other exercise equipment, treadmill machines need to be adequately maintained. Be sure to check the treadmill belt for wear and tear and keep all screws and bolts tight. If something seems off or broken, discontinue use and call a technician.
Final Words: Safety at Home Gym
Treadmill safety is essential to keep in mind when using this type of exercise equipment. By following these simple tips, you can help avoid injuries and have a safe and productive workout.
Manual treadmills are also encouraged over motorized treadmills if you have small children and pets in your home. Here are the best manual treadmill reviews for you to choose from.
You can submit a claim to the CPSC at SaferProducts.gov if you believe you have incurred an injury or a near-miss with fitness equipment or any household product.