Perhaps Anne Tolley might like to re-introduce the “treadmill” to NZ prisons.
Exercising on a treadmill often feels like torture, and thatâs not exactly a coincidence.
In 1818, an English civil engineer named Sir William Cubitt devised a machine called the âtread-wheelâ to reform stubborn and idle convicts.Â Prisoners would step on the 24 spokes of a large paddle wheel, climbing it like a modern StairMaster. As the spokes turned, the gears were used to pump water or crush grains. (Hence the eventual name treadmill.) In grueling eight-hour shifts, prisoners would climb the equivalent of 7,200 feet. The exertion, combined with poor diets, often led to injury and illness (as well as rock-hard glutes), but that didnât stop penitentiaries all over Britain and the United States from buying the machines. In 1824, prison guard James Hardie credited the device with taming New Yorkâs more defiant inmates. He wrote that it was the treadmillâs âmonotonous steadiness, and not its severity, which constitutes its terrorâŠâ