STUDY: Running Reduces Cardiovascular Mortality Risk

December 19, 2018

While we are massive advocates of running here at Run Republic, much of our knowledge comes from experience. Our goal is to build on this with information from academic studies showing the benefits of running, or consumption of certain foods for running. Our goal is simple, to provide our readers with the best information possible. Today's article releases to a study by LeePate, Lavie, Sui, Church and Blair in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The authors set about assessing if there are in fact long-term benefits to running on mortality.  The study itself had a large sample set of 55,137 adults from 18-100 with an average age of 44. The authors then assessed the effect of running with medical history by means of a questionaire.

The results of the study concluded as follows: 

During a mean follow-up of 15 years, 3,413 all-cause and 1,217 cardiovascular deaths occurred. Approximately 24% of adults participated in running in this population. Compared with nonrunners, runners had 30% and 45% lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively, with a 3-year life expectancy benefit. In dose-response analyses, the mortality benefits in runners were similar across quintiles of running time, distance, frequency, amount, and speed, compared with nonrunners. Weekly running even <51 min, <6 miles, 1 to 2 times, <506 metabolic equivalent-minutes, or <6 miles/h was sufficient to reduce risk of mortality, compared with not running. In the analyses of change in running behaviors and mortality, persistent runners had the most significant benefits, with 29% and 50% lower risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively, compared with never-runners.

Running, even 5 to 10 min/day and at slow speeds <6 miles/h, is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease. This study may motivate healthy but sedentary individuals to begin and continue running for substantial and attainable mortality benefits.

Running is a popular and convenient leisure-time physical activity with a consistent growth, despite some public concerns about the possible harmful effects of running. It is well established that physical activity has substantial health benefits. The World Health Organization and the U.S. government have recently released evidence-based Physical Activity Guidelines, recommending at least 150 min of moderate-intensity or 75 min of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, or an equivalent combination of both. However, compared with the compelling evidence on moderate-intensity activity and health, it is unclear whether there are health benefits to vigorous-intensity activity, such as running, for <75 min per week.

This study was conducted to investigate whether leisure-time running is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risks, whether there is a dose-response relation between running and mortality, and whether different patterns of change in running behaviors are associated with mortality.


While we may know instinctively that running is good for our health, and while we at Run Republic certainly want to promote running with people of all abilities and ages, it is somewhat reassuring to know that there is academic evidence that unpins our assumptions in the promotion of running as a healthy past time.

We are running advocates here at Run Republic, and we are happy to give people advice if you contact us via email ([email protected]), or via social media.


COMPETITION COMING SOON: We have a great competition starting from January 1st. All you have to do isJoin our Club on Strava, run when you can in January, post your run to Social Media with the #runrepublic, and if you feel like some bonus points, start your own blog on Run Republic. To sign up for more info, just fill in your email address below.

[weforms id="7246"]


Related News