Author Topic: Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner UPDATE pg 3  (Read 9700 times)

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weeblewobble

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner UPDATE pg 3
« on: February 06, 2013, 10:53:26 AM »
I think I may have discovered a new gym etiquette issue!  (I feel like a scientist!)

I've belonged to the same gym for ten years.  I have never seen this issue come up before.   

I go to the gym at the same time every day, which happens to coincide with the regular gym time for an older gentleman who recently joined the gym.  I have noticed that every time he is on the treadmill, he climbs off using the side panels as footrests and leaves the treadmill running at a pretty healthy clip. If you stepped from the floor onto the running belt while it was moving at that speed, your feet would get knocked out from under you and you could get hurt.  The first time he did it, I thought he was going to the restroom and maybe didn't want his workout to time out and lose his calorie/distance data.  But he never came back!  He just walked out of the gym.  I have seen him do this 5-6 times now.

This is a bad idea and really inconsiderate for a few reasons:

1) It wastes electricity.

2) It puts needless wear and tear on the machines.

3) Someone who may want to use that machine may avoid it because they think someone else is using it.

4) Because of the way the machines are situated (very close together) it's difficult to approach the treadmill from the side to turn it off.  So it makes it awkward and hazardous for members or staff to climb up on a running machine and turn it off.  There are several huge STOP buttons on the treadmill, it's really obvious how to turn it off.  There's no reason to do this.

So I've seen this happen a few times and I haven't known how to respond to it.   I have gone over and stop the machine after I'm done with my routine.  I have called out, "Sir please turn off your machine" as he's walking away, but he either doesn't hear or is ignoring me. I'm not going to stop my workout to go tattle on him to the staff.  But generally, by the time I'm done, this guy is  gone and I can't point him out to the staff. I have mentioned it as I leave, but without knowing the guy's name, "Older guy in a blue sweatsuit" doesn't help them much because it describes a LOT of people. He always seems to show up after I start working out and leave before I'm done.  He's very wily. :)

Am I over stepping my bounds as a gym member trying to correct another member's use of the machines?  I love the gym and I hate to see people abuse the equipment.  And I would really hate to see someone get hurt trying to turn the machine off for someone who couldn't be bothered to do it.  Is there anything else to do?



« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 10:05:39 AM by weeblewobble »

TurtleDove

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 10:58:43 AM »
I haven't experienced this issue, but I have issues with people not following the track rules (either going the wrong way, or not staying to the inside lane to allow passing on the outside, or walking three across and blocking passers.....).  I generally say something politely as I pass like, "I'm passing on the outside - check out the track rules over there (and point).  Since I am passing them several times in rapid succession this works for that issue. Obviously, that won't work for yours, but if you do happen to catch him someday I would mention it directly to him.

For your issue, you could try something similar.  My gym was repainted and the track rules were taken off the wall.  I insisted they be put back up so that everything would run (hah! no pun intended!) smoothly.  I would suggest asking the gym to post a sign near the treadmilss with gym rules, including in large letters, "please do not leave treadmills running while not is use."

Good luck!

WillyNilly

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 11:03:47 AM »
I would speak to an employee as I entered 'Hi.  I work out here everyday and lately an older guy comes in a few minutes after me and uses the treadmills.  He gets it going pretty fast and then when he leaves he just steps on the sides to get off leaving it running.  I'm usually still running at that point and don't want to interrupt my workout to notify you all, but it concerns me.  Maybe you can keep an eye out for him? I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt or the machines to wear out."

Or you could change the "maybe you can keep an eye for him?" to "would it be ok for me to say something to him as he's running?" if you are comfortable doing that.

Marcia

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 11:26:52 AM »
As someone who works as a trainer in a large fitness facility, I'd appreciate it if another member let either myself or one of the staff know about something like that. That's an accident waiting to happen to some other member. Yikes!

Lynn2000

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 11:40:20 AM »
If he often works out near you, maybe suggest that the staff keep an eye on you, and then you can kind of signal to them when you see the guy appear. Then they can watch him, and intervene as they think best. Or make plans to interrupt your own workout, just the once, to go get the staff and point him out.

You could also ask them if they'd like you to say something more proactive to him--like speaking to him before he starts the machine up. I would only do this if the staff was okay with it, though. Not being a gym member I'm not sure what size of a reaction this warrants, thus I would ask the staff for further guidance.
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cicero

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 02:34:01 PM »
I would speak to an employee as I entered 'Hi.  I work out here everyday and lately an older guy comes in a few minutes after me and uses the treadmills.  He gets it going pretty fast and then when he leaves he just steps on the sides to get off leaving it running.  I'm usually still running at that point and don't want to interrupt my workout to notify you all, but it concerns me.  Maybe you can keep an eye out for him? I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt or the machines to wear out."

Or you could change the "maybe you can keep an eye for him?" to "would it be ok for me to say something to him as he's running?" if you are comfortable doing that.
this.

you might mention that you think he is probably a fairly new member, that might narrow things down for them.

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Where's the Quiet?

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 05:20:59 PM »
Am I over stepping my bounds as a gym member trying to correct another member's use of the machines?  I love the gym and I hate to see people abuse the equipment.  And I would really hate to see someone get hurt trying to turn the machine off for someone who couldn't be bothered to do it.  Is there anything else to do?

I don't think that would be overstepping at all! I saw the bad results of this practice just this morning at my gym. Someone jumped off her treadmill and left it running while she went to talk to some friends. She left her stuff in the cupholders so maybe she thought people would leave it alone. Anyway, someone else came along, didn't notice that it was still running, stepped on and went down HARD. An ambulance was called and thankfully the lady was fine, but it could have been avoided so easily by just turning it off when the first person got off.

As far as whether there's anything else that could be done, maybe you could ask the gym to put up a sign specifically saying that the treadmills need to be stopped after each use. My gym has a TV station and they run gym rules/etiquette regularly on there.

MrsJWine

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 05:54:04 PM »
I would say something to the staff. Treadmill burns can be pretty serious. I wiped out on the treadmill a few months ago during my warmup--so, low speed--and still got some pretty severe (but tiny) burns. A friend of mine sustained large 2nd and 3rd degree burns from a treadmill a while ago.


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VorFemme

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 08:10:15 PM »
We have a home treadmill - it does not run without a plastic tab inserted into it that is on a lanyard for the runner to wear.  If you fall or get off the treadmill - the tab comes out and the treadmill stops....very quickly.

I have to think that absent minded gym members might walk off with a similar safety tab on a similar set up - but surely something could be worked out (a sensor on a handrail?) for treadmills sold to gyms.....

The older guy could be setting up someone to get hurt one of these days - whether trying to get on a running machine or it breaking down while someone is on it from the extra wear & tear......
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MrsJWine

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 09:48:44 PM »
We have a home treadmill - it does not run without a plastic tab inserted into it that is on a lanyard for the runner to wear.  If you fall or get off the treadmill - the tab comes out and the treadmill stops....very quickly.

I have to think that absent minded gym members might walk off with a similar safety tab on a similar set up - but surely something could be worked out (a sensor on a handrail?) for treadmills sold to gyms.....

The older guy could be setting up someone to get hurt one of these days - whether trying to get on a running machine or it breaking down while someone is on it from the extra wear & tear......

I don't wear it when I run. I should, but I don't. I'm constantly knocking it off the console with my hand, or wandering too far back on the treadmill and pulling it off. I think they drive a lot of people just as nuts. I've always thought they could devise a better system.


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sweetonsno

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 03:09:58 AM »
You're absolutely not overstepping by trying to correct him. This is a safety issue.

That said, I really think you should interrupt your workout to find a staff member the next time you see it happen. Yes, it's annoying. However, the potential consequences of someone stepping onto the machine without noticing that it's on at a good clip (or accidentally stepping on the belt while trying to turn it off) are dire enough that a two-minute interruption in a workout pales in comparison. It isn't just a matter of possible treadmill burns; someone could wind up breaking a bone or getting a concussion. You don't even have to "catch him in the act" with the staff. You could just hop off your machine when you are in a recovery period, grab someone and point out the offender, then hop back on for your next sprint. You could snap a photo with your phone so you can show the person at the front desk who you are talking about.

Either this guy is really oblivious and doesn't understand how to stop the treadmill (which means he is putting himself at risk by using the equipment) or he's doing it on purpose (which means that at best he is a clueless prankster, at worst a booby-trapper). Whatever the case may be, this guy is actively endangering others and someone needs to stop it. He might be able to ignore you, but it would be tough for him to ignore the employee who has the power to kick him out of the gym indefinitely. I really do think that the "don't leave the treadmill running" message should come from someone with authority.

SpottedPony

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 11:30:31 AM »
If he comes and goes at regular times, you could come in after he has started and point him out to the staff.  You would then be able to tell the staff that he is the one leaving the treadmill running.  Then someone official would be able to keep an eye on him when he leaves it and let him know that he needs to turn off the machine when he is done using it. 

Spotted Pony

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 06:54:43 PM »
I POD everyone else's advice, but I also have to say I'm a little surprised that this is an issue. Why doesn't this guy cool down (it can be unsafe not to), and why wouldn't he bother to stop it if he knew he was leaving????? ??? ??? ??? Doesn't the machine have a pause/quit button?

The hopping off without stopping thing only makes sense to me when you are coming back, otherwise - what the heck is he doing?? Showing off?

It is a silly at best and dangerous at worst thing for him to do, and you should inform the gym employees that he is not using the equipment the way it was intended.  >:(
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SPuck

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 07:56:55 PM »
I would go to a gym staffer or representative. A person in a position of authority will be able to better this man.

m2kbug

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Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 08:14:03 PM »
I think I would go ahead and interrupt my own workout to alert staff to the situation and point out the offender, so that they can guide him on turning off the machine.  If he's already on the treadmill when you arrive, you can point him out to staff before you even start your workout, but I think you need to resolve yourself to the interruption if you wish for staff to correct his behavior.  You probably won't have to do this repeatedly.