A Shocking Treadmill Experience

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Anyone else have a problem with static shock when running on the treadmill? At the new gym I'm going to, the treadmill zaps me every time I touch the handles. I remember this happening at previous gyms too. And it happens on all different treadmills, not just one in particular. It doesn't let up after I'm damp with sweat either. Maybe I'm just more electrifying than most people. Yeah, that must be it! Ha!

From the solutions I scrounged, I didn't come up with any that really fit my particular situation. I have no control over the humidity levels in the gym nor do I have any control over grounding the treadmills (which I have confidence are already properly installed).

A few other suggestions were to wear those wristbands attached to the treadmill, but I don't think these treadmills have any (plus they're pretty dorky-looking). You can also go out and get new running shoes that prevent shock, but my budget doesn't really comply as I just recently bought brand-new running shoes.

Now I don't know if this is scientifically sound or not, but it seemed like when I rubbed my fingers on my cotton shirt (which holds a neutral charge) before touching the bars, I wouldn't get shocked. I must somehow be dispelling the charge. Or maybe I'm just crazy. Either way, it's worth experimenting with since this is the easiest fix I could fathom. And this article indicates that polyester and nylon clothes--typical in performance-wear--are good conductors of electricity. Cotton is not.

The most comprehensive solutions I found were in this Runner's World forum.

None of this will stop me from running of course. It's my drug of choice. I've been a runner for over 10 years now, and I don't plan on letting a tiny thing like this prevent me from my chosen exercise. However, I do think it could be enough to deter a beginner or exercise-averse type, so it's worth looking into.

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