What is the expected life span of fitness equipment?

There are many additional questions that need to be answered in order to properly address the life time expectancy of fitness equipment… what kind of machine is it? (bike, rower, elliptical, treadmill, weights, etc) Is it an inexpensive "made-for-home" machine? Is it a commercially rated unit capable of the abuse received in the big-box gyms? 

In this article, we are going to focus on treadmills. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, treadmills have become the hottest home exercise choice since the 90's.

How long should a home Treadmill last? Retailers will say the range is 7 to 12 years, with 10 years about average. Of course, with proper care, some treadmills far exceed the average. - TreadmillAdvisor

Basic consumer information:  
Treadmill manufacturers are constantly working to improve their products and the newer units are generally better machines than those of a decade or more ago. Generally speaking, the newer treadmills consume less power, have updated safety features, etc.Although the initial investment can be significant, purchasing a commercial or "club" grade piece may be wise if you plan to keep and use it regularly for many years.Most manufacturers of exercise equipment offer home and commercial versions of their machines. The commercial equipment typically costs more but is built to stand up to daily use. The frames, motors and components are built using higher quality materials and the warranties are much more substantial. Most treadmills have a lifetime warranty on the frame, and some provide that for the motor as well. The home version is more economical, but the savings come in place of durability and a lesser warranty. The commercial version will last much longer than the home version and will likely need fewer costly repairs over the years. 

That being said…. 
With over 50 years of collective fitness equipment experience, the FitDel team has chosen "light-commercial" rated machines that have proven to exceed industry standard expectations. With proper maintenance and care, a well built treadmill can last a lifetime. FitDel crew are specifically trained to maintain equipment longevity. We currently have equipment in the rental field that is over 10 years old and operating to manufacturer's specifications just as the new units along side them.

This leads to the next variable directly related to the life expectancy of a treadmill…. Amount and frequency of use. We have recently collected data from a range of FitDel rental customers from residential to office fitness centers, to dues paying gyms. Moderate to minimal use was reported from each machine.

- A residential rental was recently returned after just 35 miles in one year

- Office building with approximately 50 employees reported 153.1 miles in 9 months on the rented treadmill

- Two treadmills in a personal training gym logged 712 and 1002.76 miles in 10 months

- 2 treadmills in a dues collecting public gym logged 673 and 1109 in 6 months

The data continues to show that these treadmills average less than 1000 miles per year. With manufacturers boasting up to 10K or more miles of life before part failure, a well built light commercial treadmill should easily reach 10 years of quality operation with proper care and maintenance as referenced above.Overall, The life of any piece of fitness equipment is directly related to amount of use and proper care and maintenance. When cared for properly by a professional, a treadmill might possibly last a lifetime.

Additional source: ConsumerReports