Background and Identification
A treadmill is a device for walking or running while staying in the same place. Treadmills were introduced as a type of mill operated by a person or animal walking the steps of a treadwheel to grind grain. Treadmills were developed before the introduction of powered machines. Later, treadmills were used as punishment devices for criminals sentenced to hard labor in prison. ‘Treadmill’ and ‘treadwheel’ were used interchangeably for both the punishment and power mechanisms.
In more recent history, treadmills have been used as exercise machines. Modern treadmills use an electric motor or a flywheel to power a moving platform with a wide conveyor belt. The belt moves from the front to the back of the machine, forcing the user to walk, run, or jog at the same speed as the belt. More high-end treadmills are usually driven by an electric motor. Lighter and less expensive treadmills passively resist the user’s motion and only move when the walker pushes the belt with their feet; these are known as manual treadmills.
Treadmills are the best-selling exercise equipment worldwide. If treadmills are not maintained from time to time, they can lose their speed and performance. Treadmills should be placed on a level floor to keep the machine’s belt and motor balanced. Dirt and dust that accumulates on the treadmill’s belt or deck should be cleared away with a damp cloth or sponge once or twice each month. Regular treadmill maintenance should include lubrication, alignment, and tension maintenance.