Health

The History Of The Fitness Treadmill

Today, the fitness treadmill is typically the most popular piece of fitness equipment, found in homes and health clubs round the world. But where did this great cardiovascular machine come from? The “treadmill” also known as the “tread wheel” was initially released in the height of the Roman Empire, around the past-due first century.

When the Romans found that they had a need to lift heavier weight, they integrated the treadmill, changing the winch in their cranes. The men would walk within the steering wheel itself and because the fitness treadmill had a larger diameter, these were in a position to lift dual the weight with half the team. In the 1800s, when fixing machines were powered by unreliable, natural sources like wind flow and water, farmers were looking for a more consistent power source. They found that a treadmill machine could catch the “brake” power of a horse.

Small variations of the horse treadmill were introduced to tackle everyday home operation. The treadmills produced both rotary and reciprocating forces for use with light machinery like butter churns, grind stones, fanning mills and cream separators. Through the Victorian Era, British engineer William Cubitt invented the prison fitness treadmill. Installed for hard labor, these treadmills were designed as a way to usefully make use of convicts and use their power to be successful.

The prisoner would simply work the wheel to produce power to grind corn and pump drinking water, although some served no purpose at all the than punishment. Eventually The Prisons Act of 1889 abolished hard labor and instead regarded that labor within prisons must have a constructive purpose. The first modern medical fitness treadmill was found in 1952 by Dr. Robert Bruce of the University of Washington, a cardiologist who conducted research with co-worker Wayne Quinton to monitor and diagnose various heart diseases and conditions. From his findings he developed the Bruce Protocol eventually, today a diagnostic test used in the evaluation of cardiac function, which continues to be used.

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He is known to many as “The Father of Exercise Cardiology”. In 1991, Life Fitness produced its first fitness treadmill, the 9500HR, which took an entire week to assemble. It included the patented FlexDeck Shock Absorption System, which reduces joint stress by up to 30 % in comparison with running on concrete.

Life Fitness released the first integrated LCD touch screen console and attachable LCD screen on a fitness treadmill in 2003 and later developed the first cardio products with device and USB connectivity. Today, treadmills continue to be the most popular fitness equipment in both homes and gyms. And they’ve come a long way from even from where there have been about ten years ago. Integrated TV, access to the internet and compatibility with fitness and entertainment applications makes treadmills significantly less of a chore than they were at the turn of the century.