The natural history of exercise: a 10-yr follow-up of a cohort of runners

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Aug;27(8):1180-4.


To determine the pattern of exercise and associated adverse events, including injuries, a mail survey was conducted on participants in the 1980 Peachtree Road Race Study for whom we were able to obtain current addresses. A total of 535 persons responded, 326 men and 209 women, representing 72% of those with identifiable addresses. Although only 56% of respondents reported that they were still running in 1990, 81% reported that they were still exercising regularly. The cumulative probability for continuing to run was 0.71 for men and 0.56 for women. Injury (31%) was the chief reason given by men for stopping permanently. For women, 28% stopped because they chose another form of exercise. Fifty-three percent of respondents had at least one injury during the 10-yr interval. The probability of experiencing an injury was associated with higher weekly mileage. The knee was the most frequently injured site. Thirty-nine percent of women and 35% of men reported being verbally assaulted. Approximately 10% of persons were hit by thrown objects or bitten by a dog. In a group of recreational runners, almost half had stopped running 10 yr later, but over 80% were still physically active. Many runners sustain injuries or suffer hazards related to their exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dogs
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Probability
  • Recreation
  • Risk Factors
  • Running / injuries
  • Running / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data