A treadmill is a piece of exercise apparatus that is typically used inside. The exerciser can run or walk whilst staying in the same place, when using this equipment. 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.
The machines belt moves from the front of the system to the back at varying speeds for a person to walk or run against. The exercise speed (running or walking) is easily set (the speed at which the belt rotates is the speed at which the individual moves).) The more expensive, heavy-duty versions are motor driven. For a less expensive treadmill that is simple and light, go with a passive version. This design is not motor powered, it is powered by the individual running and just offers resistance to motion.
Treadmills were invented in 1875. The first machine was a "lever power" treadmill and was used for agriculture. They are manufactured in various sizes so as to accommodate various sizes of animals . The little treadmills were operated by dogs and sheep to deliver power to the fanny mills or butter churns they were connected to. The larger ones were driven by horses to run threshing machines.
The First Medical Machine:
The first medical machine was invented by UW cardiologist Robert Bruce in 1952 and he was called the father of exercise cardiology, along with UW staffer Wayne Quinton. The Standard Stress Test was invented to help diagnose lung and heart problems and to see the severity of those diseases. Quinton later sold his interest to Stairmaster, who was subsequently bought by Nautilus.
Tunturi was founded in 1922, and started as a bicycle repair shop. The Tunturi company is is given the credit by many individuals as the first manufacturer of physical fitness equipment, because of their well known W1 exercise bike. The company is based in Finland, and today they have the enviable reputation as probably being the leading and best-known manufactures of high class fitness equipment, which includes exercise bikes, rowers, and steppers.
In the late 1960's Bill Staub noticed that treadmills were very expensive and were used mainly as medical testing machines. An affordable home treadmill was built by Staub who was trained medical engineer. He sent Dr. Cooper a prototype, and he was so impressed, he sold the first few hundred to people that were his referrals. 40 years ago, Dr. Cooper's business, Aerobics, Inc, started full scale manufacturing of PaceMaster treadmills. Since that time, they have evolved from manufacturing basic treadmills to manufacturing apparatus with computerized and automatic functions.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration:
The U.S. space program used treadmills onboard Skylab to keep the astronauts in good shape, while they were in a gravity free environment. The first treadmill that was used in the space by the astronauts was just a Teflon coated plate that allowed the feet to slide while the astronaut ran in place with bungee cord tethers.
For more information about treadmills please go to our website for videos and reviews of the Tunturi treadmill exercise machine and more .