View Full Version : Summary: Harnesses

Paul Treffner
03-18-2003, 12:43 PM
Thanks to you all for your professionalism in the answers to my harness

>We would like to install a safety harness above a treadmill. What options
>are there for a low-cost but effective safety (emergency only)harness? I
>would imagine a 3-point anchoring to the roof is required. Have people
>used sailing/windsurfing/climbing harnesses? It needs to be very
>comfortable and unobtrusive.

Responses (senders deleted):

Try contacting Prof. Amit Bhattacharya at Univ Of Cincinnati, OH. USA.
He had subjects walk on slippery surfaces and they used some harness to
sure they didn't fall when they were walking on it. Goodluck.
His email is:

You might want to look at the safety harness's that hunters use in tree
stands. They have shoulder, chest, waist, leg belts that make up the
harness and there is a large "D" ring on the back that connects to a
restraint cable or strap that in turn is attached to the tree.

A good place to look is companies that make safety gear for working at
heights. I think this is where I bought the harness I'm using for
balance studies in PD patients (I don't have the receipt here at home
but this looks like the web site):
http://www.pssstequipment.com/subcategory_233.htm We have ours
anchored to the ceiling.

I suggest you check out industrial safety equipment catalogs. I
know that Cole-Parmer (www.coleparmer.com) has a number of
different harness / fall limiter systems.

We use a harness system from Biodex that was designed to work with a
treadmill. Even if it's out of your price range, you could get some
good ideas from it. It is basically a U frame and the nice part is
it's on casters so it can be moved when not in use.

We used a children's type climbing harness. It proved to be
necessary in our case, with a low ceiling (2.80 m), to connect the
harness to the ceiling by means of a set of pulleys, and to have an
assistant hold the puley-rope. With a short fixed-length rope
between harness and ceiling you might get very unpleasant effects
when stumbling.

article here that might help
lots of commercially available add-ons to existing treadmill I think

At Northern Michigan University we've used a climbing harness for running,
cycling, (although we didn't account for the bike) and skate skiing (see
attached photo for skiing although as it's a front shot it doesn't show
harness very well).

My experience with sports harnesses is that they do a great job of helping

support an able bodied conscious person, but are not great for
emergencies. One of the issues with sports harnesses is that some tend to

fold the unconscious or otherwise compromised user in half at the waist...

I'd suggest you check out an industrial safety supply store and see what
they have to offer. You might also check out the construction safety
regulations for workers on platforms etc. Construction harnesses are
heavier and maybe a bit more cumbersome than sports harnesses, but
generally designed not to fold the wearer in the event of an emergency.

Perhaps you may use a harness normally used in sailing on small boats or
catamarans. (For example Magic Marine) It is fixed around both thighs and
shoulders. You can take a robe from each shoulder up to the roof. If you
an open block and tackle construction you can adjust the length of the
(for both sides simultaneously).
I used a similar construction to initiate unexpected landings.

I work as the biomechanist for the South Australian Sports Institute. We
recently built a harness system over our treadmill based on a harness used
at the uni of Ballarat. It's a fairly basic structure - a climbing
attached to some rollers in a track which is attached to the roof. If you
would like a picture of it I can get one to you.. It doesn't restrict
movements and is not going to cause any injuries so it does the job. It's
possibly not the most comfortable system but all we intend using it for is
to catch the athletes if they stumble.

Thanks to all respondents!


A/Prof Paul Treffner,
Centre for Active Visualisation,
School of Information Technology,
Griffith University Gold Coast,
PMB 50, Gold Coast Mail Centre,
QLD 9726, Australia.
Tel: +61 7 5552 8215
Fax: +61 7 5552 8066

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