Technology

How treadmills work

In just 50 years, treadmills
have evolved from a
novelty item shown at
trade shows to the staple of gyms
and fi tness rooms worldwide.
Originally invented as a medical
device for testing the cardiac health
of patients, the treadmill was
commercialised by William Staub,
a Philadelphia-born engineer.
Staub was a fi tness fanatic and
developed the running machine in
the late-1960s as a way of exercising
without having to leave the house.
Due to its practicality and relatively
cheap price point he was selling
2,000 per year by the 1980s and
35,000 per year the following
decade. The technology advanced,
offering varied workout
programmes, heart-rate monitors
and emergency stop buttons.