What if Everybody Ran?

The Running shoe company Mizuno recently released a study (only 10-pages so check it out) on the impact running has on a society by calculating changes if everyone ran. Authored by University of North Carolina MBA students, the study has some pretty compelling numbers. Even so, the paper warns that the all the research does not necessarily mean there is a causal relationship.

According to the study, if everybody ran, we would see:

• $130 billion in health care savings. • An increase of more than $47 billion to the national GDP, with lost productivity due to sick days reduced by 50 percent, from 2.3 percent to 1.5 percent. • Nearly 2 billion pounds of total weight loss. • 10 percent increase in household earning potential. • 5 million fewer hospital visits. • 7 billion more hours spent outdoors. • 18.7 percent fewer divorces annually, and 29.3 million happier marriages. • 10 percent improvement in self-esteem among kids. • 200 million inches lost from waistlines. • 116,000 fewer hip replacements annually. • 48.1 million fewer cigarettes smoked daily. • 63 million happier dogs (because many running dog owners would take their pets for jogs, too). • 135 million fewer hours of TV watched each week, and 14 billion fewer hours spent online each year. • 135 million more bananas consumed. • $4 billion increase in donations to charities.

Convinced? I have my questions about the study... did it calculate increase in running related injuries and surgeries (think knee replacements)? Did it consider the fact that many Americans, for various health-related reasons, are unable to run? I don't think it did, but even the authors admitted to taking some "leaps of faith."

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