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Monday, June 11, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

I would be lying if I said I didn't find this study a tad disturbing!

The good news: running is associated with a 19% decrease in mortality over non-runners.  Hurray!

The bad news: if you run a lot or really fast, those gains evaporate to the point where you are statistically just as likely to die as non-runners again.

individuals who ran six and seven miles per hour had a significant 21% and 27% lower risk of all-cause mortality, whereas those who ran eight or more miles per hour had a nonsignificant 7% lower risk of all-cause mortality 


Running up to 20 miles per week was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death, with the largest benefit observed in those who ran between 10 to 15 miles weekly (HR 0.73; 95% CI 0.60-0.89). For those who ran 20 to 25 miles and more than 25 miles per week, however, there was a nonsignificant 10% and 5% reduction in all-cause mortality 

What does this all mean?  Maybe pushing yourself to new levels of performance excellence is fun and great for goal-setting, great to keep you motivated... but might not be doing your health any good!

I don't like to change my behaviour on a single study, but I'm glad they are at least looking at it.  It will be interesting to see where this lands as they dig deeper - what accounts for the difference?

1 comment:

Double Bellybuster said...

I'm not sweating it.

This study is not nearly as flawed as many but it there are too many factors outside of the variable being measured that cannot be held constant for these results to be relied on.

I cannot run 7.5+ mph more than once per week - but with an active lifestyle I realize that I, versus a couch potato, am assuming a higher risk of death and accident while traveling to remote races or to group runs, falling while travelling on trails and all sorts of accidents while using energy while Joe Couch sits on his chesterfield.