A treadmill can be a wonderful piece of equipment that can help you to stay in shape, but there are many risks and safety hazards involved with treadmill usage. Just as running outdoors raises safety concerns, a treadmill adds a new set of dangers for its users. Even if you are a very fit and active person who regularly runs on a treadmill, there is always a chance that an accident can occur. Here are a few tips that can help you to avoid these types of accidents!
Make sure that your shoelaces are always firmly tied. If your laces are too long, purchase a new, shorter pair, or cut your current ones to fit correctly. If your laces come untied while running, immediately stop and re-tie them to avoid a fall.
Wear the correct type of footwear. Don’t pull a LeAnn Rimes and attempt a workout with your stiletto heels on! (In all seriousness, wearing heels on a treadmill can easily result in a broken ankle, so do yourself a favor and don’t ever attempt it!) Also be sure that your shoes are fitted correctly, and that they are the right size. By choosing a well fitted running shoe (whether it be minimalist or not), you decrease your risk of tripping or falling because of your choice in footwear. If you are a barefoot runner, then just be careful that you don’t burn the soles of your feet on the moving tread belt.
Always use the automatic shut off safety key. Many treadmills on the market today will not run without having the safety key inserted. One of the most important safety decisions that you can me is to attaching the end of the key to your person during any type of exercise. If you trip, get distracted, or get too close to the edge, the resistance on the key will immediately stop the machine from running. This could potentially save you from some major belt burns, and ankle injuries.
Children should always be supervised around treadmills. Talk to your children about treadmill safety, and make sure that they know that they should never use it without your help and permission. By removing the safety key and keeping it in a secure location at all times, kids won’t be able to start the machine. Many treadmill accidents could have been avoided if children were not granted access without close supervision. Always make sure that the safety key is used if you allow your child to get on a treadmill.
As seen in a recent treadmill accident that resulted in severe burns to a 5 year old, it can take months, or even years, to recover from injuries sustained from treadmill usage. There are even instances where treadmills have resulted in the death. Don’t let yourself or a loved one suffer because correct procedure have not been followed correctly.
Photo credit: Christina