Is Running On A Treadmill Bad For You? Experts Weigh In.

May 13, 2024
  • Sydney Kaiser
    Product Reviewer, Content Writer, Certified Personal Trainer

*TreadmillReviewGuru helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.

As strength training becomes more popular (and rightfully so because it’s very beneficial), cardio can sometimes be demonized. Part of this demonization has people wondering if running on a treadmill is bad for you.

Is Running On A Treadmill Bad For You

There are plenty of things that are “bad” for you, like smoking or physical inactivity. Running on a treadmill does pose the risk of getting injured, but many things in life have risks. So, is running on a treadmill bad for you? No, and here’s why.

Treadmill Running Benefits

When it comes down to it, the pros of running on a treadmill far outweigh the cons. Before I dive into the cons of treadmill running, here are some benefits on why you should run on a treadmill.

Can Be Safer Than Outdoors

Running on a treadmill can be safer than running outside because it’s in a controlled environment. There aren’t any cars, objects, other people, animals, or anything else like there are outside. This helps eliminate the chance of getting hurt because of one of these factors that you can typically encounter while running outdoors.

If you have animals and/or small children at home, you should always make sure they aren’t near the treadmill when you use it. This is a part of general treadmill safety.

Also, being in a controlled environment means you aren’t outside dealing with the elements. There isn’t snow, ice, cold temperatures, storms, or extreme heat to worry about when you run on your treadmill in your home. Some treadmills even come with built-in fans to help keep you cool when you get sweaty.

Cushioned Deck

A treadmill can also be more forgiving on the joints than running outside. Many treadmills have shock absorption in the deck that helps to lessen the impact that comes from running. Running is a high-impact activity that puts more impact on your body than low-impact exercise. This is often why many think that running is bad for you.

Running not only lubricates your joints but could help prevent developing osteoarthritis.

Sole F89 Sydney Running Close

Controlled Training

A treadmill is a great way to structure your training. On all treadmills, both manual and motorized, you are in control. Whether you’re pushing an adjustment button to adjust the speed and incline levels or if you’re controlling the pace of the belt with your feet, you control the machine. This means you choose what you do.

Plus, nowadays many treadmills come with subscription training content. With this, you can choose from following an instructor to lead you through specific workouts with set training goals. You can also follow a complete program that revolves around specific training goals.

Running Has Numerous Health Benefits

Running, in general, can majorly benefit your health. In fact, studies have shown that people who run and continue to run throughout their life, tend to live longer than those who don’t. Running can help lower your risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

It also strengthens your heart and lowers your resting heart rate to make each beat more efficient. Running can help boost your immune system and help you sleep better at night. It can also boost your mood as well as positively impact your mental health.

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Treadmill Running Things To Consider

Of course, some risk factors come with running on a treadmill.

Injuries Can Happen

As with any type of movement, running on a treadmill can cause injuries. One of the common risk factors is falling. Yes, it’s scary to think about. With the surface moving beneath you, you can lose your balance and fall. This can result in some minor bruises or more serious injuries.

Falling is the more extreme scenario here, but tripping or even just misstepping can happen, too. These can all lead to injury on a treadmill. They can also happen while just walking around, so you shouldn’t avoid running on a treadmill if this is your concern, especially when treadmills have safety features to help prevent injuries.

The easiest way to help prevent injury is to use your treadmill’s safety key. The safety key works by clipping to your clothing. This way, if you were to trip, fall, or just misstep, the treadmill belt will immediately stop moving once the safety key is pulled.


Overtraining is another factor that can lead to getting injured on a treadmill. Overtraining in any exercise, be it running, cycling, or lifting, for example, can cause injury. If for instance, you run 10 miles one day when you haven’t even been running 1 mile, this could cause strains, tears, or sprains. It can also create joint pain.

Not taking enough rest days or not crosstraining with other forms of exercise can lead to overtraining, too. Considering you are running in one position on a treadmill, overtraining can happen more than running outside.

It’s important to listen to your body and allow it to recover when needed. It’s also a good idea to have a well-rounded fitness routine that incorporates both cardio and strength training.

Bottom Line

Physical activity, like running on a treadmill far outweighs not being active. It’s not only beneficial for your health and can help you live longer, but it benefits your mental health and can be more convenient and safer (in some cases) than running outside.

Of course, with anything, too much of something, such as running, can be bad. It can lead to injuries from overtraining. My recommendation is to establish a running routine that works for you and implement cross-training, like lifting weights, too.