The study, conducted in November 2020, analysed data and trends that impact outdoor running and exercise, such as local crime rates, air pollution, traffic data, the number of public parks and gardens in different cities, and more.
According to Sport England, running outdoors in the UK increased by 731,000 participants in 2020, a rise of 1.5%. Since stay-at-home measures were introduced in March 2020, the NHS reported a 92% increase in downloads of the Couch to 5K app between March and the end of June 2020. As people continue to practice social distancing and as the tier system slowly relaxes into 2021, outdoor running is expected to continue. The Runners Need study findings and tool can help further identify the best locations or factors that impact outdoor running, as well as predict which cities might continue to see a rise in outdoor running and exercise.