That’s the question a new international study is aiming to answer – with a little help from several thousand participants in the increasingly popular weekly parkrun events in London and Sydney.
The Health of Adults’ Longitudinal Observational (HALO) study will follow parkrunners over the next 15 years to assess whether recreational running puts people at greater risk of developing knee OA in later life.
The study aims to recruit at least 1% of the 80,000 parkrunTM participants across the 359 locations in the UK.
Some members walk the 5-km route while others volunteer at events, allowing the study to recruit across the spectrum of physical activity.
Dr Kim Edwards, associate professor at the university of Nottingham’s School of Medicine where the study is being co-ordinated said: “One difficulty with research about physical activity and health is the lack of detailed running data, on large samples over many years.
“In an ageing society, with increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyles, it’s clear that a greater understanding would be beneficial to the overall population.”
PhD student Richard Leech from the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis is currently working with the University of Sydney and is recruiting Australian volunteers for the study.
“It’s really important that physical activity is encouraged within our society. Our research seeks to identify the short and long-term outcomes associated with recreational running. In doing so we wish to identify the benefits, particularly in relation to musculoskeletal health, so that people of all ages can participate safely,” he said.
For more information on how to get involved click here.