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The predecessor of fitness equipment, the bizarre invention history you don't know

The predecessor of fitness equipment, the bizarre invention history you don't know
Most people in the gym like to run on the treadmill to keep fit, but what you can't imagine is that the people who invented the treadmill didn't use it as a fitness equipment at all, but as a torture tool for prisoners. Hundreds of years ago, humans built farm tools similar to treadmills, such as European mills, which use a large, rotating wooden disc in situ to connect gears, and people can drive the machine by stepping on the wooden disc.

Stepping on these machines is very laborious, playing for two or three hours will soon be fragmented, as long as the family can afford livestock, will not personally fight, rather let donkeys and horses to do the work. It is precisely because it is very hard to step on it that someone remembers to torture people with it. At the beginning of the 19th century, the crime rate in Britain was very high, and judges liked to impose heavy sentences, so that you could sit in prisons for more than ten or twenty years at any time. Prisons of all sizes in Britain were full of prisoners, and the government had to allocate a lot of money to support these people every year, feeling that their health was almost emptied. What was worse, prison management was backward, but only concerned about these people, without any education. In the reconstruction project, prisoners do nothing all day except drink and fight.

How can prisoners be remembered while generating income for prisons? One inventor, William Cobbit, came up with the solution, "Prison version treadmill". The main body of this thing is a super-large roller with dozens of pedals on which a group of prisoners can stand and tread. The power generated by the criminals'treading on the roller is transmitted to the water pump by gears to feed water or drive the mill to grind grain. In short, it is a bit like a reinforced version of China's water bicycle. Cobbit sold the machine to the British government; in 1818, several British prisons introduced it, and prisoners were required to tread on a treadmill for at least six hours a day.

After a period of trial use of the prison version of treadmill, the jailers found that the effect was not good enough; the prisoners did not have the energy to fight and riot after getting off the treadmill, one by one. What is important is that their physical strength is transformed into motivation to generate income from production and to subsidize prison expenditures. After the treadmill had accumulated good reputation, it was quickly introduced into more than 50 prisons in Britain. Even the United States on the other side of the ocean took a fancy to it and bought a bunch of them and put them back in prison. Americans have a deeper understanding of the treadmill. They think it's a mental warhead because the fact that they repeatedly tread on the treadmill is too boring. Stepping on it for a few hours every day is bound to drive the prisoner crazy by boredom, so that the prisoner will have a long memory and never dare to commit any more. So in the eyes of prisoners, treadmills are totally abnormal torture tools.

In those days, the prison was in poor condition, and the food just kept you hungry; the tired and hungry prisoners who were in poor health got on the treadmill and ran with their eyes black easily fell into the machine, either broken feet or lost their lives. Over the past 80 years, countless prisoners have been planted in treadmills, which has aroused protests from British nationals who feel that it is inhumane to press prisoners with treadmills, coupled with the popularity of steam engines and the lack of human resources. So the treadmill retired amid a lot of abuse.

But just over a decade later, the treadmill was reborn, because it was found that a moderate tread would help strengthen the body. In 1911, Hagen, an American inventor, designed the first kind of treadmill for fitness. For people living in cities, it is difficult to find a place to run because of crowded cars and crowded people outside. The treadmill just solved this problem. Since then, the treadmill has made great progress, evolving from pure manual to electric, and adding functions such as heart rate detection, which has become an outstanding representative of fitness equipment.
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