Thursday, February 25, 2010

Boomer Appalled By Age Bias in Star Track Treadmill

This is my first in what could be a series of boomer advocate posts if I have more than one. As an advocate I am dedicated to the mission of ridding the world of age related bias. My target today is the Star Track treadmill at my LA Fitness center. I am hopeful that some "with it" marketer will be tracking "buzz" on his product and my blog will pop up because I have used the words Star Track treadmill several times.

My favorite machine at the fitness center is the treadmill (Star Track treadmill) because it is the only piece of equipment that will keep going even if I want to stop. I've been using the Interval Training program. It requires you to enter your weight and age and from that information the machine will suggest a lower and upper limit for your heart rate. For my stats the upper limit is 123. I discovered quickly that I can reach 123 just by stepping on the machine so I played around with the weight/age variables so it would give me a 130 HR upper limit. I learned that a 400 lb. twenty-year old will get a 150 HR upper limit while a 125 lb. fifty-five-year old will get a 123 HR upper limit.

Now I ask you, dear readers, who's more likely to have the heart attack on the treadmill, the 400 pounder or the svelte 55-year old? This machine totally ignores weight, relying solely on age to set its Heart Rate limits. And the older you are, the more the machine presumes you are likely to keel over. I consider this an outrage to all only slightly plump 55-year olds. And what's worse, it's asking for my weight information and not even using it.

I solved the problem by telling the machine I was only 45 and on a good day I might only weigh 115. Now that I think on this more, maybe I like this machine just the way it is.

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