Last year, there were more than 1,500 reports of exercisers landing in the emergency room after run-ins with workout equipment, according to data collected by the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission. The agency estimates that when extrapolated to the rest of us, more than 50,000 people are treated in the ER each year after falling off exercise balls, getting snapped in the face by resistance bands, dropping heavy weights on their toes, tripping over jump ropes or flying off treadmills. Especially flying off treadmills.
Injuries caused by exercise and exercise equipment increased almost 45% between 2007 and 2010, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a database maintained by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Treadmills caused the most injuries among types of exercise equipment, according to media reports based on the findings of the U.S. commission. Statistics show the injuries happen to people of all ages, at home and in gyms. The injuries can even be fatal. Treadmills cause more injuries than any other type of exercise equipment, according to the CPSC. The agency’s latest data for 2009 lists 575 instances of injuries caused by exercisers falling off, tripping on and tripping over treadmills. Even a stationary, powered-off treadmill can pose a danger — the data show dozens of instances of backs injured from attempting to move treadmills and even toes broken after kicking treadmills.
Mike Tyson’s four-year old daughter died in 2009 by playing near a treadmill. According to NEISS, 10,808 injuries are estimated to have occurred in 2010 to children up to age four. NEISS also reports that a two-year old girl was left with scars after she caught her hand in a treadmill.
In recent years, the commission has recalled numerous types of treadmills around the country. In 2005, ICON Health & Fitness of Logan, Utah voluntarily recalled 16,700 treadmills after reports of people being shocked by parts of the equipment. In 2007, Cybex International of Medway, Mass. voluntarily recalled 4,700 treadmills after five reports of equipment overheating and catching fire. A year later, the same company voluntarily recalled 20,000 treadmills after reports that they were speeding up unexpectedly.
Sometimes, accidents are caused by the people exercising, not the machines. NEISS reported a man fractured his foot after he dropped a 25-pound weight on it. Another report stated a man strained his shoulder while lifting 70-pound weights in a sitting position. While at the gym, a 57-year-old female crushed her hand after lifting a dumbbell.
To prevent injuries, many gym owners require that customers be given instructions on how to properly use the exercise equipment before they are allowed to work out. My Sports Clubs, a national chain of gyms, conducts training drills for employees on how to handle emergencies. It also encourages customers to have fitness trainers “spot” them when lifting weights.
Axis Legal Counsel represents victims of numerous types of personal injury accidents and injuries, including car or auto/vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, trucks accidents, school bus accidents, premises liability, slip-and-falls, products liability, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, motorcycle accidents, gym/exercise accidents, and other personal injury accidents.
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