What if Everybody in the U.S. Was a Regular Runner?
What really bugs you? Do you hate to see people smoking cigarettes? Are you stressing about your lacking memory? Is the current healthcare spending debacle a particularly annoying topic?
Whatever your issue, we have found the answer and it comes in the form of an infographic and interactive webpage.
Sporting goods company Mizuno began with a simple question, “what if everybody ran?” They asked the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School to find the answer using the U.S. as an example. The school released a paper detailing some of the possible outcomes which relied on other academic studies and a few “leaps of faith.”
We’re firm believers in the benefits of running but seeing the numbers and quality of life improvements recorded, backed by science and on such a large scale is a bit of a shock. Prepare yourself.
Smoking is a serious health concern with 34.1 million daily smokers in the U.S. According to the paper running could reduce the desire to smoke after exercise, leading to 48.1 million fewer cigarettes smoked daily. The study doesn’t take into account how many of those smokers would likely give up smoking altogether once they began running regularly.
By the way of healthcare, the paper estimates there would be 5 million fewer hospital visits annually. Fewer visits to the hospital and a smaller instance of chronic disease will save the nation $143 billion in health care costs each year. You read that right—$143 billion, each year.
When it comes to mental health and wellbeing the statistics are just as substantial. Mental abilities, like memory, improved 20 percent after running. Exercise leads to happier relationships, so we might see 29.3 happier marriages and 163,607 fewer divorces annually.
And finally, among the many statistics and educated guesses, one stands out, brighter than the rest.
Exercise can reduce anger rates by 83 percent and improve overall mood by 37 percent. If the whole country ran, we might experience 37 percent more smiles in the United States.
And who wouldn’t like to see more smiling faces?