Antistatic Straps for Treadmill Use
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Static shocks can come from almost anything, as most things carry some sort of electrical charge. Anything that is made of metal or has metal parts has a particularly high chance of carrying static electricity. In the case of treadmills, the problem is aggravated by the fact that the machine has to be plugged in order to work. If you’re suffering from static shocks every time you ride your treadmill, you can solve the problem by making some small changes that reduce the static charge in the machine.
Antistatic wrist straps were originally designed for people who work with electronic devices. For example, people who work doing computer repair will build up static electricity in their body over time. This can cause electric sparks that can damage equipment or an electrostatic discharge that can feel like a small electric shock in the body.
Although treadmills are technically grounded and should not shock you when you hold the handrails, sometimes they do produce a small discharge. The shocks are common when you hold the rails, but they can also occur when you touch the display. Shocks can also be transmitted through your earphones if you’re wearing them. Static shocks are not harmful, but they can be quite uncomfortable and jarring, especially when you're distracted while working out.
Don't Be Shocked
Antistatic straps are very simple items. They usually consist of a small cloth or elastic strap that closes with a fabric or hook-and-loop fastener. The strap has a self-coiling grounding cord with a small metal clamp -- sometimes known as a crocodile clip -- at the end. You hook that clamp to any metal area of the treadmill and it will ground you to it, so you won’t be shocked anymore.
Reduce the Static
When the air in the room in too dry, it causes static to build up. Using a humidifier in the room when you exercise should help reduce the static in the air. You can also try switching to natural fibers: Synthetic fibers increase static buildup, so they’re not a good choice for exercise clothing.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.