Boing Boing has an interesting article on the (fairly) new AlterG treadmill. From the article: “The AlterG is no ordinary treadmill, though. It is a super fancy, super-expensive treadmill that isolates the lower body in a vacuum and literally takes off percentages of your body weight using technology developed by NASA.”
The treadmill can significantly reduce stress through the joints during ambulation or running and allows the user to set what percentage of their body weight they have to support. It sounds like a great way to enable early rehabilitation or to allow physical activity for disabled and overweight people who might otherwise not be able to get effective cardiovascular exercise. It can also be used to allow injured athletes to train through injuries.
The treadmill looks futuristic and comes with a price tag that is also somewhat out of this world coming in at around $24, 500 USD. While this sounds expensive, it’s probably not that outrageous if you were to compare it to the cost of purchasing exercise equipment such as swimming treadmills which aim to acheiving similar goals.
The AlterG is supposedly showing up increasingly often in physical therapy clinics.