Treadmills are an extremely popular piece of fitness equipment. There are a variety of interesting statistics and facts about this equipment.
A treadmill is a piece of fitness equipment that simulates an endless walking or running surface. As many people know, this machine can help you get in cardio workouts inside protected from the weather.
Below you can find some of the most popular findings and statistics about this fitness machine and where this data comes from.
Keep in mind that the figures below are often estimations from smaller studies and surveys. These things generally come with a lot of biases, suboptimal sample selection, and measurement errors.
In reality, some numbers will likely vary for the overall population, sometimes by a lot.
1. Treadmill are popular
Treadmills are an extremely popular type of fitness equipment. It is hard to find any gyms without them and on top of that many people invest in their own treadmill so they can walk or run in the comfort of their own home.
Google Trends is a tool that shows you how much interest in certain search terms evolves over time for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular.
Below you can find a worldwide search volume comparison from 2004-2021 between “treadmill”, “exercise bike”, “elliptical”, “rowing machine”, and “stairmaster”.
As you can see, treadmills are really popular. Even when compared to some of the other popular cardio machines. Especially when the gyms were closed.
On January the 13th, 2022 we even conducted a quick 24-hour poll on our own Instagram page with the question “Have you used a treadmill in the last 4 weeks?” that could be answered with “Yes” or “No”.
138 people responded to this poll. 30.4% of these people answered yes, 69.6% of these people answered no.
2. Treadmills offer many health benefits
While enjoyment is also sometimes a reason, most people use the treadmill because of all the health benefits this offers. This goes from a healthier cardiovascular system to stronger bones to improved cognitive function, etc.
Another popular reason is that using a treadmill can help you lose weight. This includes both walking and running.
30 minutes of running at 5.2 mph (8.4 kmh) on the treadmill can help you burn around 266-457+ calories depending on weight, intensity, and much more.
If you want to learn how to burn more calories while running on the treadmill and in general, make sure you read the article on how many calories running burns.
As an example, one study found that running on a treadmill with cushioning burned more calories than running on a treadmill without cushioning (1).
Walking on the treadmill will help you burn some calories too but it will take a lot longer to get similar results.
3. Treadmills do require a decent investment
One thing to keep in mind if you are looking to get your own treadmill is that they require a decent investment. We compared 79 examples and at the time of writing, the average cost of a treadmill was $1348.05.
That being said, this average is concluded from many models. Some of them are a lot cheaper than this average, some of them are also a lot more expensive.
Even then, a treadmill is definitely not as cheap as just a pair of running shoes. Whether the treadmill is worth the investment depends on things like your budget, how motivated you are to run outside, how often you will use the treadmill, etc.
In the end, the health benefits you can get from a treadmill are worth a lot. If this piece of equipment keeps you motivated enough for a lot of extra workouts it can definitely be worth it.
4. Treadmill accidents do happen
Accidents can happen during any type of activity, that includes using a treadmill. These treadmill accidents often get a lot of attention since they feel unexpected even if there are other activities with higher injury risks.
Additionally, treadmills are relatively popular so it is logical the absolute number of accidents with them can be a bit higher than less popular equipment.
At the same time, knowing the statistics about how often these things happen and what some common treadmill accidents are can help you avoid any injuries.
One study looked at the Emergency department (ED)-treated injuries associated with mechanical home exercise equipment from 2007 to 2011. They found that 66% of these accidents were attributed to treadmills (6).
So during 2007-2011, there were about 46399 treadmill accidents in the USA. That comes down to about 9280 treadmill accidents per year in the USA from 2007-2011.
Most of these injuries in children of 4 years and under were soft tissue injuries (48%) and lacerations (34%). For adults of 25 years and older, sprains and strains were the most common (30%).
There are things that can help you avoid treadmill accidents. First of all, if there are any safety plugs you can use these. Safety plugs can be attached to your clothes. If you then fall, the treadmill will stop turning.
Secondly, you generally want to stop and restart your treadmill anytime you get off. A lot of treadmill accidents happen when people step on an already moving treadmill.
Lastly, you want to make sure that any kids or pets stay away from moving treadmills. The treadmill injuries that happen to kids are often because they come in contact with moving treadmills being used by someone else (7, 8, 9, 10). This can be avoided.
5. Treadmills have relatively high weight limits
We looked at 59 example models and calculated that the average treadmill weight limit of these machines was 309.32 pounds (140.28 kg).
This is higher than the other averages we calculated of similar machines like exercise bikes, rowing machines, and elliptical machines. While treadmills do also tend to be pricier, these higher weight limits can be great news.
Both for users who are carrying around a few extra pounds and users who want a strong treadmill motor for longer duration and higher speed treadmill workouts.
Knowing the average treadmill weight limit is great but do make sure you check the weight limit of the individual model you intend to use.
6. Treadmill market size
With all the interest in treadmills and their relatively high price, there is a big market behind these fitness machines.
One source estimates that the global treadmill market size was valued at 10.86 million USD in 2020 (11).