Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Treadmills may be riskiest workout machine

Everyone is sad about the death of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg's 47-yr-old husband, David Goldberg, in a gym in a resort in Mexico.

Apparently, he was in the hotel gym alone for many hours and was found on the verge of death when someone wondered where he was.

Although motorized treadmills are considered tricky, there were only 30 reported deaths from them between 2003 and 2012 (US Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Injuries are far more common, according to a story in the NYT by Sabrina Tavernise, May 5, 2015.

In 2014, there were almost 25,000 injuries from treadmills that rose to the ER level. This is a pretty big percentage of all injuries from exercise equipment--62,700.

One physician quotes said he had seen a man thrown off by using a treadmill for the first time and setting it to go too fast. The guy was really banged up.

But it is also true that exercise can cause heart problems to surface. Mr. Goldberg had a small gash on the back of his head---if he had lost his footing, would it not be in the front as his feet went out from under him and he went down face first?

Heart problems account for 80% of sudden deaths during exercise.

Apparently no autopsy was done--and we may never know in Mr. Goldberg's case. According to all accounts he was an upstanding person and many, many people liked, respected, and will miss him.

Any lessons here? Well, maybe get a checkup before starting a rigorous program.

Have someone (trainer) check you out on all the machines.

And maybe don't exercise alone--this, of course, would eliminate home exercising--your call.

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