Stepmills are replacing traditional StairMasters at gyms as people want tougher, shorter workouts; Exercisers boast of conquering the #stairmonster
Nov. 19, 2016 7:00 a.m. ET
Stepmills are quickly surpassing treadmills as the favored cardio machine in North America according to Ecofit, a Canadian company. We currently live in an era where time is limited and people want short effective work outs. Stepmills are essentially an assimilation of a moving staircase. The steps are fixed in height and move at a consistent rate, which forces the user to keep up. Mountain climbers use the stepmill to train by incrementally adding more weight to a backpack. Stair climbing machines were brought to market in the 1980’s after a fitness boom by an entrepreneur named Lanny Potts. He was the inventor of the StairMaster. Once his patents expired, competitors were able to bring the stepmill to market. Life Fitness sold almost 5 times more stepmills than two-pedal machines this year and Technogym in Italy just introduced its first stepmill. As a global marketer, it is essential to be forward focused on consumer wants and needs. It is important to understand the culture in the environment. For instance, the US culture is fast paced and the stepmill is a piece of equipment that consumers find efficient. The stepmill may also be successful in Italy for the same reasons. I have seen stepmills on so many Instagram work-out videos posted from people all over the world. So as an international marketer, it is important to keep abreast on trends that are appearing on social media and other media outlets in order to stay competitive.