Treadmill


Treadmill

A treadmill is a piece of indoor sporting equipment used to allow for the motions of running or walking while staying in one place. The word "treadmill" traditionally refers to a type of mill which was operated by a person or animal treading steps of a wheel to grind grain (see treadwheel.)

The principle is a belt system (an electric motor or flywheel connected to a circular run of material) where the top of the belt moves to the rear so as to allow a runner to run an equal, and necessarily opposite speed. Thus the speed of the run can easily be set or measured (the rate at which the belt moves is the rate at which the runner moves). The more expensive, heavy-duty versions are motor-driven. The simpler, lighter, cheaper versions are passive, moving only when the walker pushes the belt with their feet, and operates just to resist the motion.

Origins

Treadmills were historically used as a method of reforming offenders in prison, an innovation introduced by Sir William Cubitt in 1817. [ [http://www.uic.edu/aa/college/gallery400/notions/histories.htm History of human-powered machinery] ] ; these were also termed treadwheels. The first private health club in the U.S. was started by Professor Louis Attila in 1894. Cardio workout machines entered the clubs much later and were developed initially for the hospital. The first medical treadmill designed to diagnose heart and lung disease was invented by Dr. Robert Bruce and Wayne Quinton at the University of Washington in 1952. Dr. Kenneth Cooper's research on the benefits of aerobic exercise, published in 1968, provided a medical argument to support the commercial development of the home treadmill and exercise bike.

Advantages

As a cardiovascular exercise:
* Running or walking on a treadmill can be an effective way to work out, like other complex cardiovascular exercises (similar to non-treadmill walking/running). As with all exercise, regular treadmill use increases endurance.
* Treadmills offer the benefit of reduced impact since all treadmills offer some sort of shock absorption. Exercising on a treadmill can reduce the strain to the ankles, knees and lower back of users.As an indoor activity:
* Users who would not run/walk outdoors (e.g. due to unfavourable weather conditions, uneven road surfaces, dangerous neighbourhoods or unwanted attention) may use an indoor treadmill.
* Users who do not wish to join a gym may use an indoor treadmill at home.
* Users can do other things while exercising, such as watching television or reading.As a machine:
* Enables exact calculation and adjustment of slope and speed.
* As most of the factors of the activity are known, the energy expended may be calculated.
* Some treadmills have special features such as step count, heart rate monitors, amount of calories expended.

Disadvantages

* Many users find treadmills boring and lose interest after a period.
* Cost of purchase and electricity to run the treadmill is significantly greater than running outside.
* Takes up space in homes (disadvantage reduced by "folding treadmill" option).
* May cause personal injury if not used properly.
* Can make a loud grinding noise if the belt keeps slipping.
* Lack of wind resistance makes running on a treadmill easier than it would otherwise be on an equal elevation grade outdoors. Training for outdoor races is complicated due to the subtle differences.
* There is little need to propel yourself on a treadmill, making running easier and therefore not giving you an accurate representation of running on the ground. This can be a disadvantage when training for outdoor races.
* Ordinary treadmills, even the expensive models at gyms and clubs, are not usually able to tilt at the steep slopes used on medical treadmills for standardized stress tests.
* Imposes a strict pace on runners, giving an unnatural feel to running which can cause a runner to lose balance.
* As with all forms of cardiovascular exercise, the risk of cardiac arrest is significantly increased. Treadmills may further this risk, as indoor comforts, such as air conditioning, may cause a user to feel more comfortable and less likely to stop due to exhaustion.

Other uses

As it is basically a conveyor belt, the treadmill can be used for activities other than running. If horses are being tested (especially in jockey racing) they will be put on a specially constructed treadmill. Large treadmills can also accommodate cars.

Omnidirectional treadmill

Advanced applications are so called omnidirectional treadmills. They are designed to move in two dimensions and are intended as the base for a "holodeck". There are several solutions which were proposed and research continues because some issues remain unsolved until now such as large size, noise and vibration. [ [http://www.amm.mw.tum.de/index.php?id=250 Cyberwalk] ] [ [http://www.amm.mw.tum.de/index.php?id=251 Cybercarpet] ] [ [http://www.vsd.bz/ Omni Directional Treadmill] ]

ee also

*Naturmobil

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Treadmill — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Hardcore Punk, Post Hardcore, Emo Gründung 1995 Auflösung 2000 Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Treadmill — Tread mill , n. A mill worked by persons treading upon steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis. It is used principally as a means of prison discipline. Also, a mill worked by horses, dogs, etc., treading an endless belt.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • treadmill — (n.) invented (and named) 1822 by William Cubitt of Ipswich, England; originally an instrument of prison discipline; from TREAD (Cf. tread) (v.) + MILL (Cf. mill) (n.1) …   Etymology dictionary

  • treadmill — ► NOUN 1) a large wheel turned by the weight of people or animals treading on steps fitted into its inner surface, formerly used to drive machinery. 2) a device used for exercise consisting of a continuous moving belt on which to walk or run. 3)… …   English terms dictionary

  • treadmill — [tred′mil΄] n. 1. a kind of mill wheel turned by the weight of persons treading steps arranged around its circumference: formerly used as an instrument of prison discipline 2. a mill driven by an animal treading a sloping, endless belt 3. any… …   English World dictionary

  • Treadmill — A machine with a moving strip on which one walks without moving forward. A treadmill was originally a wide wheel turned by the weight of people climbing on steps around its edge, used in the past to provide power for machines or as a punishment… …   Medical dictionary

  • treadmill — [[t]tre̱dmɪl[/t]] treadmills 1) N COUNT: usu sing You can refer to a task or a job as a treadmill when you have to keep doing it although it is unpleasant and exhausting. Mr Stocks can expect a gruelling week on the publicity treadmill. 2) N… …   English dictionary

  • treadmill — noun Date: 1822 1. a. a mill worked by persons treading on steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis and used formerly in prison punishment b. a mill worked by an animal treading an endless belt c. a device having an endless …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • treadmill — n. on a treadmill * * * [ tredˌmɪl] on a treadmill …   Combinatory dictionary

  • treadmill — UK [ˈtredˌmɪl] / US noun [countable] Word forms treadmill : singular treadmill plural treadmills 1) a piece of exercise equipment with a flat moving surface that you walk or run on while staying in the same place 2) a situation that is very… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.