News – Could running aid recovery from Covid-19?

Monday, 08 February 2021

Experts from the University of Nottingham are looking for runners to take part in a study looking at how their running habits have changed during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what impact running could potentially have on the virus itself.

Covid-19 has affected everyone’s lives, and many keen adult runners in the general population have been affected too, by either contracting Covid-19 or through changes to their running activities due to lockdown or other restrictions that have been in place.

Experts from the University’s Department of Orthopaedics, Trauma and Sports Medicine in the School of Medicine, are now inviting members of the running community to share their training data, so they can examine any changes in running habits associated with current restrictions, as part of a new study called Running Through.

Dr Joanne Stocks, Assistant Professor in Sports and Exercise Medicine, is one of the researchers leading the study. She said: “The data we collect will help us to understand the impact of the pandemic on the running communities. We will also be able to see what impact, running could potentially have on the severity of Covid-19 or whether is aids recovery times. If found to be beneficial, running could then also be prescribed to the wider population.”

The lack of a regular racing season, will also give experts a unique opportunity to investigate patterns of injuries in runners, which is difficult in normal circumstances.

The team will also use the data collected to produce a set of recommendations regarding training load, intensity or infection recovery.

Many adults who have tested positive for Covid-19 have reported experiencing prolonged tiredness, alongside other cardiac or respiratory symptoms, often described as Long Covid. As part of our study, we will monitor runners as they return to training following their recovery from Covid-19 and the impact on subsequent activity, training and any health complications.”

Dr Joanne Stocks

The team will use the data to identify characteristics of runners who may be at higher risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 infection, developing common injuries and poor recovery after infection.

The team are looking for runners of all levels to take part in the research, which will involve completing surveys and sharing their training data.

If you are interested in taking part, or to find out more information, visit the website https://runningthrough.org/

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Story credits

More information is available from Dr Joanne Stocks in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham at joanne.stocks@nottingham.ac.uk

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world’s top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia – part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. The University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its status as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner – locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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