Why Were Treadmills Invented? Top Interesting Facts!

*TreadmillReviewSite.co.uk helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
Last Updated:

Treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment on the market today.

They are versatile, relatively low-impact, and can be used by people of all fitness levels. But how did they come to be?

In this blog post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of the treadmill and explain why you should consider using one in your workout routine.

Why Were Treadmills Invented?


The first treadmills were actually used as a punishment! That’s right – the earliest versions of this machine were built in the early 1800s and were designed as a torture device and a way to make prisoners work while they were incarcerated.

This early prison treadmill torture device was very simple in design and consisted of a large wooden wheel that was turned by the prisoner walking on it. The prisoners would have walk on the treadmill for hours at a time, and it was brutal. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of injuries and even some deaths associated with this early form of the treadmill.

In 1876, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, used a treadmill to test a patient’s heart rate before surgery. He found that the medical treadmill was an effective way to measure heart function. This was an important discovery because it paved the way for using medical treadmills in cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Eventually, someone had the bright idea to put a motor on the treadmill to make the treadmill belt go faster and make it easier to use. This motorised version of the treadmill was patented in 1883 by William Cubitt, and it quickly became popular as a way to generate electricity. In fact, some factories used treadmills to power their machines!

Treadmills for Exercise

treadmills for exercise

The first prototype treadmill home fitness machine was created to allow people to exercise in their homes without taking up a lot of space. The original home treadmill was large and bulky and not very practical for most people. However, it laid the foundation for the smaller, more compact treadmills that we use today.

Treadmills really took off in popularity during the 1970s fitness craze. As more and more people became interested in staying fit, manufacturers began manufacturing home treadmills and producing more innovative designs.

The 1990s saw another boom in the popularity of treadmills. Advances in technology made them more affordable and easier to use, and gyms began to incorporate them into their workout programs more and more.

Today, there are dozens of different types of treadmills available, ranging from simple manual models to high-tech machines that can simulate running outdoors. Today, they are one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment available, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon!

Why You Should Use a Treadmill

why you should use a treadmill

There are many reasons why treadmills are one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment available. So, why should you consider using a treadmill? Here are a few benefits of using a treadmill:


Running or walking on a treadmill is much easier on your joints than running or walking on concrete. If you have joint pain or other issues that make high-impact activities difficult, a treadmill can be a great way to stay active.


Treadmills can be used indoors, so you can workout anytime, day or night and no matter what the weather is like outside. And if you have a busy schedule, you can easily fit in a quick workout on your treadmill before work, after work, or after the kids go to bed without having to drive to the gym.

They Offer a Great Workout

person working out on treadmill

Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, or just improve your overall fitness, a treadmill can help you reach your goals. Treadmills provide a great cardio workout and can also be used for interval training (alternating between walking and running at different speeds) to really get your heart rate up and aerobic exercise.

Good for People of All Abilities

Treadmills can be used by people of all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. And if you are new to exercise, a treadmill can be a great way to ease into a workout routine. You can start out walking at a slow pace and gradually increase your speed as you get more comfortable.

They provide a simple, effective way to get your heart rate up and to start burning calories. As you get stronger and more fit, you can challenge yourself by increasing the speed or incline of the treadmill.

If you’re looking for a piece of fitness equipment that can give you a great workout and is easy to use, a treadmill is a great choice. And now that you know a little bit more about their history, we hope you’ll appreciate them even more!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the right treadmill for me?

When choosing a treadmill, it is important to consider your fitness goals and budget. There are many different types of treadmills available, so you should be able to find one that meets your needs. If you are just starting out, a manual treadmill may be a good option.

If you are looking for a more challenging workout, a motorised treadmill may be a better choice. If you are short on space, there are also compact treadmills available. And if you want to be able to work and exercise at the same time, a treadmill desk may be the perfect solution!

No matter what your fitness goals are, there is a treadmill out there that is right for you. So get out there and start walking, running, or jogging today!

How do I use a treadmill?

Using a treadmill is simple. Just step on the belt and start walking, running, or jogging at your desired pace. If you are using a motorised treadmill, you will need to press the start button. Then, adjust the speed and incline settings as desired. When you are finished, press the stop button and step off of the belt.

What are some tips for using a treadmill?

tips for using a treadmill

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your treadmill workout:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase your speed and intensity as you get more comfortable.
  • If you are new to using a treadmill, it is a good idea to practice in a safe area, such as a cleared out corner of a room.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated during your workout by drinking plenty of water.
  • To help reduce your risk of injury, be sure to warm up before you start and cool down after you finish.
  • Pay attention to your form and focus on keeping your back straight and your shoulders down.
  • If you start to feel tired or dizzy, stop and take a break.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a piece of cardio equipment that is efficient, low-impact, and convenient, then look no further than the treadmill! Treadmills have come a long way since their humble beginnings as punishment devices for prisoners; today, they are widely considered to be one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and break a sweat. So next time you’re at the gym or perusing Amazon for new workout equipment, don’t forget about the trusty treadmill!

I'm Jamie and I test out new models in sports retailers, or buy and sell them new or second hand so I can review a wide range of models and put together the best advise on which treadmill is right for you. So if you are looking for a cheap treadmill for walking, a gym quality treadmill to run sprints, or something in-between I can point you in the right direction.
Related Articles
RHYTHM FUN Treadmill 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill Review
RHYTHM FUN Treadmill 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill Review: Worth The Price Tag?
Branx Fitness ‘Elite Runner Pro’ Treadmill Review
Branx Fitness ‘Elite Runner Pro’ Treadmill Review
How the Peloton Treadmill Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
How the Peloton Treadmill Can Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals
When Will Treadmills Be Back in Stock? Tips for How to Get the One You Want

Find out more About Me

TreadmillReviewSite.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.