Running Participation and COVID-19

Goals

To determine whether running has become more or less common during COVID-19.

Early Findings

Our research on whether running has become more or less common during COVID-19 revealed insights. Here are the key pieces of information we found:

Running Participation and COVID-19

  • One factor that may cause running to be less common during COVID-19 is the concern over being shamed for going outside and doing so on TV and social media because of fear and misinterpretation of social distancing guidelines and requirements.
  • However, no White House or other government restrictions that have been recommended by medical experts have required people to stop running or participating in other exercise activities outdoors. In fact, people have been encouraged by government officials and medical experts to continue or even increase their regular exercise and fitness routines such as running in order to promote their overall health.
  • A very recent study by Run Repeat has confirmed that people are not letting fear of shaming or any other fears stop them from running, and running has become more common overall during COVID-19.
  • People who run once or twice a week have increased their frequency of running by 117%, and moderate runners who run up to three times a week have increased their frequency of running by 55%. Only avid runners who run four or more times a week have slightly decreased their frequency of running, possibly because they have eliminated specific workouts, like track runs, and are only focusing on lighter training during the pandemic, resulting in lower rates of running for this group as a whole.
  • Running is also more common among people who are getting into running for the first time because of their regular exercise and fitness routines being disrupted by COVID-19. With gyms, pools, and basketball courts closing and fitness classes being canceled, running may be "the perfect, and perhaps one of the only ways, to get in cardio during COVID-19."

Proposed next steps:

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