The engineer who revolutionised the quest for fitness by inventing the treadmill has died, aged 96.

William Staub reportedly used his machine until just weeks before the end of his long and healthy life. He died at home in Clifton, New Jersey.

Staub - who owned an aerospace company - was inspired in the late 1960s by a ground-breaking fitness book called Aerobics. He built the PaceMaster 600, consisting of 40 steel rollers covered by an orange belt, a grey cover over the motor and orange speed and duration controls. Before this, treadmills had been confined to medical facilities.

Staub's son Gerald said his father saw it as an affordable tool for those who wanted to run outside but didn't do so because of bad weather or "creative excuses".


"He developed it for himself, used it and got a heck of a lot healthier."