Safeguarding the Home Gym

 

Exercising is a great stress reliever, and we all like to stay in shape.  In the past few weeks, our homes have become multi-functional.  Not only are they our living spaces, but they are now our classrooms, workplaces, and, with gyms closed for the short-term, they’ve become our work-out spaces as well. 

With entire families at home sharing space, it’s more important than ever to take precautions around exercise equipment.  Stationary bikes, barbell setups and treadmills are heavy and have moving parts that could pose a danger.

People of all ages and fitness levels are injured regularly on exercise machines, ranging from nasty skin abrasions to neck and spinal cord injuries. Research into home gym equipment shows us that two-thirds of all accidents happen on treadmills. 

25,000 children are hurt on equipment each year, with over 2,000 treadmill accidents requiring trips to the emergency room/ER. 

Injuries can happen to children and adults alike due to several factors: design flaws, manufacturing defects, faulty installation, and improper use.

It is important for us to read all instructions, watch installation or usage videos, or call the manufacturer with questions about setting up equipment. Belts on the treadmill may be misaligned or not tightened correctly. Safety features, such as an automatic-stop function, could be missing in a home model. 

But there are steps everyone can take to stay safe:

  1. Keep the area around the treadmill clear. That will prevent a runner from getting pinned between a wall and the machine in the event of a fall. 
  2. Use the safety key. Clip one end onto your shirt while the other end stays plugged into the console. If you fall, the key will pop out and the treadmill will stop.
  3. Know where the emergency shut-off button is, in case you need to stop immediately. 

And, take these few extra precautions to keep kids safe:

If possible, keep your home gym equipment in a room that can be locked.  If the equipment folds, keep it folded and secured when not in use. 

Also, unplug machines so they can’t be inadvertently/accidentally started, and don’t leave the safety key dangling or wrapped around the handle. 

Lastly, a great idea is to position equipment with a clear view of your surroundings.  If a stationary bike or treadmill faces away from a doorway, it is a good idea to keep a mirror against the wall in front of the equipment, which makes it easier to spot someone behind you.  

These tips from us here at CED are designed to keep everyone safe and healthy.  If you remember to take some extra precautions, enjoying a daily workout should be no sweat!