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Study shows hurdles to taking up running

Press Association logoPress Association 7/03/2017 Johanna Carr

Busy roads, safety and a lack of time are the biggest barriers to people taking up running as exercise, a study of novice runners has found.

The findings come from Cardiff University researchers who worked with first-time runners taking part in the World Half Marathon Championships in the Welsh capital in March 2016.

Participants questioned before and six months after the university-sponsored event cited a variety of barriers to taking up regular exercise.

Eight out of 10 people said work-life commitments were the problem.

Safety fears while running alone was another top answer, cited by one third of women and 15 per cent of men, while 12 per cent said they were put off by busy roads.

Research study lead Dr Liba Sheeran said: "We know that physical activity is good for our health but the challenge is understanding how we can instil a lasting change in the nation's physical activity and exercise behaviours.

"Although mass races provide motivation and opportunity, it is not clear whether that alone is enough to ensure a long-term change in someone's behaviour and take up regular exercise."

The researchers want their findings to be used to help encourage people to take up running as an exercise.

Dr Sheeran said: "We now hope to see changes from mass race organisers, sponsors and running clubs, in partnership with physiotherapists, to take greater responsibility over the health and wellbeing of the novice race entrants."

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