I love running! And I’m not alone. There are more people participating in races each year. It seems obvious that also recreational runners that don’t train for races increase in number. However still a large amount of people don’t see the point of going outside for a run on a regular basis. They think it’s boring or prefer doing other kind of exercise. Also there are millions that don’t participate in any kind of sports and live a lifestyle where moving ones body doesn’t play a big role.
I sometimes think about what would happen to the world and society if everyone would run regularly.
What do I mean with running regularly? I think everyone who laces their running shoes up at least once a week can be considered as a regular runner. It doesn’t matter how long and how far someone’s running at least she or he runs week after week. I suppose running each week somehow proofs that you see the point of running for your physical or mental health. It’s also a fact that running is a sport that can be performed in most stages of your life. Have you seen a three-year old child that doesn’t know how to run? And the results from all the thousands of races all over the world show that running after the age of 60 is not a rarity.
So in this scenario that I focus on in this post I assume that everyone who is healthy from child to senior is motivated to go running on a weekly basis. So here are some of my thoughts I came up with.
Boy would emergency rooms all over the world be flooded with sweaty, sportswear covered people who just sprained their ankles or have a sudden knee pain! A large amount of runners face the challenges of a typical running injury at least once in their running life. If everyone would run the number of injuries would be in the billions. I guess hospitals would have to create special emergency departments just for treating running injuries. For sure the number of clinics will blow up in order to help all these injured runners.
Now that sound pretty bad right? Well as you most probably know you have a lot of options to prevent common running injuries. Sites like this one will maybe be subsidized by governments to raise awareness what can happen to you if you don’t listen to your body.
I’m pretty sure that the positive things that happens to ones health when running regularly will outweigh the negative ones. For starters the overall health of the world population will increase dramatically, provided everyone around the world would have access to water and the needed foods. Obesity would become a side issue as well as diabetes or other diseases that are fostered by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Apart from that all the stressed out people we see today in the western hemisphere will be much more relaxed. It’s been proven be several studies that running regularly reduces stress by a lot and increases sleep quality and mental health being.
In total I’m pretty sure the world would be a much healthier and relaxed place as it is today if everyone would do some running.
And what would happen to our environment? It’s hard to say. In the bigger cities all the runners would complain about the bad air quality. Therefore pressure on politicians to make more environmental friendly laws would rise.
In the more rural parts of the world I guess the changes won’t be that big. Usually in these areas people are more respectful to the environment than in the cities. Chances are that a lot of people from the cities would also go running on trails. That’s something I saw when visiting Taiwan. A lot of people living in Taipei love to go out of their city into the hilly national park in the north of the city. On Saturdays the trails are literally packed with thousands of people who go hiking or running. I guess that would happen to most natural parks that are close to big metropolitan areas.
Well there are some obvious things that’ll change in the economy if everyone would run. Companies like Nike, New Balance, Salomon and other sportswear manufacturers would be the big players in world economy. Also other brands making gear for endurance athletes would see massive growth. Coca Cola or McDonald’s would lose clients as probably people become more aware of their health and nutrition as everyone is an athlete now.
There will also be a big shift as far as jobs and education. Physical therapists and doctors, sportswear designers and manufacturers will probably be some of the higher paid workers. Event organizers that are specialized in running events will do pretty good in a society where everyone is running.
I guess there will also be some effects to the economy that are not that foreseeable. As stress level reduces and people are more relaxed and live more balanced lives also the overall productivity will increase. Let’s face it if you’re stressed out all the time your productivity level is not as high as when you go to work completely relaxed and well rested.
So these are just some of my thoughts that came across my mind on my last long run. I’m eager to read your take on this thought experiment. Leave us a comment and let’s start a discussion about a running future 🙂 Share this with your friends and ask them to join the conversation about this topic!