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World Athletics report says runners are positive people

You can officially add "positive mindset" to the list of reasons why runners are the best

We know running is good for our physical and mental health, but now runners can add one more positive outcome to that list: it makes us more positive people. According to a recent World Athletics consumer research study, runners show greater confidence in associating themselves with positive personality traits, like being warm and friendly.

RELATED: Improving your mental health through running: part 1

World Athletics and Neilson Sports collected online interviews from over 8,000 people across 10 countries (Australia, Colombia, France, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, UK, USA), including approximately 500 non-runners and 500 runners from each country. Across all 10 countries, 40 per cent of respondents considered themselves to be runners, with 30 per cent of those people running at least once a week. When compared with those who used to run but have stopped, and with those who have never run, runners were more likely to consider themselves to be warm and friendly, easy-going, family-oriented and optimistic.

Gender equality in running

Something that sets running apart from many other sports is that it appears recreational running has an equal participation split between men and women. The WA study found that out of all the runners who were interviewed, 53 per cent were men and 47 per cent were women. This was true whether they compared males and females who ran a few times a month or those who ran every day.

COVID upped our numbers

Thanks to the closure of gyms and other recreational facilities, thousands more people have taken to the roads and trails for exercise. According to the study, 13 per cent of all runners started in the last year, and every single one of them plans to continue running, even after the pandemic is over. Many of those who were already running before the pandemic but have since increased their mileage also plan to continue running with more frequency once the pandemic is over.

Other reasons to run

The #1 reason participants choose to lace up their sneakers is for their health, but other important factors are that they can go at their own pace, they don’t need a lot of equipment to get started and it helps them to de-stress. In fact, 73 per cent of participants agreed that running is just as good for their minds as it is for their bodies.

RELATED: 21 reasons to start running in 2021

Finally, while we all love running, it appears that runners between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most passionate about the sport, with 50 per cent of them agreeing that running is a part of who they are.

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