It is been widely considered that running, particularly over sustained periods of time, running is bad for the joints.

With each strike over the foot causing a runner’s knee to endure a force equivalent to eight times his or her bodyweight, it is hard to surmise any other conjecture than running is bad for your knees.

In recent years there has been increasing evidence through research that not only is there absolutely no connection between running and arthritis but that people practising vigorous exercise such as running regularly, may in actual fact be helping protect themselves from joint damage later in life.

Stanford University conducted a 21-year study examining the impact different intensities of activity had on the joints. The researchers monitored 1,000 regularly active runners from an athletics club and compared the results with 1,000 non-runners, who they also examined for a 21-year period. The study concluded that the runners knees were in no worse shape than the non-runners’ joints. According to James Fries the leader of the study and a professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University:

“We have runners who average 200 miles a year and others who average 2,000 miles a year, their joints are the same.”

Not only did the study reveal that the runners’ joints were in as good as condition as their non-running counterparts, but it also found that the runners also experienced less physical disabilities and had a 39% lower mortality rate than the non-runners.

In alliance with the findings of the Stanford University study, a study published recently in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy in the US, researchers found running actually makes the knees more resilient to the pain caused by general wear and tear. The study uncovered that adults who run regularly can expect to, not only have 25% less joint pain later in life, but also a significant less risk of suffering from osteoarthritis.

With this knowledge onboard, now all of us have no excuses not to lace up those trainers and start pounding the streets.

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