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ukactive’s Steven Ward defends treadmills amid concerns over Goldberg death

By Jak Phillips    07 May 2015
Steven Ward said that, if used correctly, there is nothing more dangerous in using a treadmill than any other piece of equipment

The new ukactive executive director Steven Ward has spoken out in support of treadmills, following a slew of headlines questioning their safety in the wake of the tragic death of Silicon Valley executive Dave Goldberg.

Goldberg, 47, is believed to have slipped while using a treadmill in Mexico, sustaining a severe head injury which ultimately proved to be fatal. His untimely death has led to a number of media articles calling in to question the safety of treadmills and whether they should be used.

However Ward, who recently took over the reins at the physical activity sector body, said in the midst of such a tragedy, it’s important that people do not lose sight of the “immense” health benefits brought from running.

“Despite the debate this incident has provoked, if used correctly, there is nothing inherently more dangerous in using a treadmill than any other piece of equipment,” Ward told Health Club Management.

“Treadmills are no more dangerous but they are used more often and therefore a greater number of injuries occur using them over other machines.”

According to a ukactive survey, slips and trips account for the majority of gym-based injuries, making up more than 70 per cent of all accidents in gym facilities. Including falls into this criteria takes the figure close to 90 per cent.

Ward said ukactive members frequently report their gym users losing concentration as a key factor in treadmill-related accidents and noted it’s essential that clear safety guidance is provided to mitigate danger.

"You can never eliminate 100 per cent of the risk in using any equipment nor could you in crossing the road,” he added.

“The most vital thing is that members know how to use each piece safely and emphasise the importance of following the safety guidelines each and every time. This will ensure they minimise the risk of injury as much as is possible.”

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