He fell off the treadmill and cracked his head open.
Exercise is a key component to a leading a healthy lifestyle. As we continue to learn more about the human body, health professionals assert that daily exercise is essential to preventing disease and living a long, happy life.
Although exercise is extremely beneficial, it can be dangerous if not approached with caution.
A tragic exercise accident
When using a treadmill in a private gym in Mexico on a family vacation, Dave Goldberg, a 47-year-old executive, had a fatal accident.
Goldberg, a CEO of SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, fell off the treadmill and passed away from complications caused by head trauma and blood loss. A New York Times article quotes a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Nayarit State in Mexico, saying “he fell off the treadmill and cracked his head open.”
Dr. Michael Jonesco, a primary care sports medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told LiveScience that it’s unclear how Goldberg fell off the treadmill. He cites tripping, slipping or a heart attack as possible causes.
No one is invincible, not even one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent executives. It’s very important to be smart and safe while working out, and experts say there are certain precautions that can help prevent exercise-related death and injury.
Tips for Exercising Safe and Smart
Here are some things to keep in mind when using exercise equipment, with a specific focus on treadmills:
- Be sure you are fit enough to exercise at high intensities. Ask your doctor to confirm your status.
- Be aware of risk factors such as old age, tobacco use and substance use, obesity or a family history of heart disease.
- Be comfortable in your setting. Move the treadmill away from the wall. If you do fall, you’re less likely to receive a head injury.
- Familiarise yourself with the specifics of the treadmill. Know the different control options and what each one is capable of. Test it out first.
- The safety key is there for a reason. Use it. Wrap it around your wrist, and if you have any issues, the treadmill will stop when it’s disconnected.
- Start slow and then increase the intensity of the settings.
- Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by music or television. Stay focused.
- Workout with a buddy. It’s smart to have someone who can assist if something does happen.
The Food and Drug Administration’s Dietary Guidelines for 2015 stresses the “importance of regular physical activity for health promotion and disease prevention in the U.S. population.” Exercise is important, but safety should always be a number one concern.
“I would not recommend against the use of treadmills for fitness… as with any exercise activity, safety is first,” Jonesco told LiveScience.