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Managing Cardio Cables

Cable management and maintenance within the cardiovascular area is an important component of any fitness center's scheduled maintenance program.

Cable management and maintenance within the cardiovascular area is an important component of any fitness center's scheduled maintenance program. This includes electrical requirements of the fitness equipment, as well as any audio/visual systems within the area. Managers of new facilities can benefit by taking advantage of the initial design phase to strategically place outlets, thus hiding cords and cables. Managers can also benefit by considering the type of entertainment the facility will offer, the type and amount of cardiovascular equipment, and electrical demands. Unfortunately, most facilities must deal with pre-existing electrical placement and the constant replacement and addition of cardiovascular equipment. Therefore, the equipment placement is not ideal in terms of cable management. It is the responsibility of the maintenance staff to ensure the cardiovascular area functions properly, is aesthetically pleasing and is free of liability concerns.

Visual concerns

Visually, all cables should be out of sight as much as possible. This can be achieved by positioning equipment - more specifically, those that require power, such as treadmills - directly behind the outlets. Inevitably, proper spacing of equipment and optimal viewing angles of the entertainment system will prevent you from placing the equipment in this manner, and a system of managing the excess cords/cables must be developed. Excess cables/cords should be gathered and secured with some type of fastener, such as zip ties, and placed either under the equipment or inside the cover. Make sure they do not interfere with any of the equipment components. Care must be taken to allow some excess slack in the cables for machines that move at the power source, such as treadmills that elevate, increasing the distance for the outlet. For machines that must be placed away from the power outlet, cable raceways can be used to hide the cables/cords.

Electrical demands

Functionally, it is the role of the maintenance staff to ensure each piece of cardiovascular and audiovisual equipment is working properly in terms of electrical demands. From a cable/electrical standpoint, this involves understanding both cable and electrical requirements, and the strength of signal or required voltage for each piece. For example, commercial treadmills require dedicated circuits and have a specific type of plug based on their voltage; as a result, they must be placed near these dedicated circuits. In addition, electrical demands of pieces that can be piggy-backed or run off the same circuit should be researched to ensure the circuit is not overloaded. All of these factors must be considered to make sure your cardiovascular area can function properly when at full capacity.

Risk management

Maintenance staff must also take steps to ensure the liability risk of the electrical system is reduced as much as possible. This involves making sure the cable system is secured to the ground via some type of raceway when it extends into a walkway to prevent trip-and-fall accidents. In addition, special emphasis should be placed on the condition of the equipment's electrical cord, making sure it is not frayed and that all the prongs are intact, to reduce the risk of electrocution from a faulty system. Although most forms of cardiovascular equipment have been converted to self-powered, there still aren't many cardiovascular areas that are electrical-free. Despite the recent advances, commercial treadmills still have special electrical needs. And, the current trend of personal viewing screens requires each piece to have both an electrical supply and cable feed. These demands, both old and new, have created a whole new need to understand electrical and cable management to ensure proper safety and function of the entire cardiovascular area.
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