Contact Us

William Staub, Inventor of the Treadmill, Dead at 96

Paula Bronstein, Getty Images

Fitness pioneer William Staub, who invented the treadmill, has passed away at the ripe old age of 96.

And if you think you’re too old or out of shape to use his invention, think again — he was using one himself until just a couple months ago.

Staub, a mechanical engineer, built and marketed his first treadmill in the late 1960s. And while treadmills were initially used only for stress tests in doctor’s offices, Staub wanted them to be used by people who, for a variety of reasons, couldn’t walk or run outside.

But marketing treadmills to the masses wasn’t easy. “Some people couldn’t pronounce it. They would call it a threadmill,” said Staub’s son, Gerald. “I would joke and say we were helping people get no place quickly.”

Eventually, of course, they caught on. These days, there are millions of treadmills in homes and gyms. And while many of the residential units may be guiltily used as clothes hangers, Barbara Bushman, a professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University, credits William Staub with changing the way people exercise.

“From a public health standpoint, it’s so encouraging,” she said. “[With one piece of equipment] he really took away the excuse of ‘the weather’s not conducive to exercise today.’”

[Associated Press]

Best of B105

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for B105 Backstage quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive B105 Backstage contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.