Cardiff University: Being busy 'a barrier to exercise'

Cardiff Half Marathon
Image caption The Cardiff Half Marathon was established in 2003 and attracts thousands of runners each year

Being too busy, safety fears over running alone and concerns about roads are major barriers to people taking up running, a survey has found.

Cardiff University looked at motivators for people to exercise in response to concerns over the nation's health.

Its researchers worked with 121 first-time runners taking part in the World Half Marathon Championships, hosted by the city in March 2016.

Big events inspired people to get fit and stay active.

Other big motivators were related to health and a sense of wellbeing, while women had different concerns to men over starting, including running alone.

Research study lead Dr Liba Sheeran said: "The results showed that big events do indeed motivate people to get active and stay active, however injuries can be a problem for novice runners with seven out of 10 runners reporting injuries."

The main barrier for taking up regular exercise was work-life commitments, cited by about eight out of 10 people, followed by safety, which was expressed by almost a third of women and 15% of men, and running on busy roads (12%).

Men and women gave different concerns for not wanting to start running, with women worried about not being fully prepared and running in front of a crowd, while men cited not achieving their target.

Researchers suggested separate strategies targeting women and men could therefore be required to get people active.

Despite these barriers many positive reasons were given for running, including a sense of wellbeing, reported by 28% of respondents, getting outdoors (22%) and better health (20%).

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