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Who runs in Glasgow?

14 Nov 2012

Our new report, published today, looks at participation in three of Glasgow’s major distance running events. We conducted this study on behalf of Glasgow Life and focussed on the age, gender, geographic and deprivation profile of entrants from Glasgow in the three races.

We asked Andrew Murray, Scottish Government Physical Activity Champion and keen runner, for his comment on the surveys findings.

"Whether it's walking, cycling, running or in any other form, physical activity is one of the best things for health. Evidence from the Lancet showed that a lack of physical activity kills 9% of the world's population.

Glasgow hosts a number of major distance running events each year, which brings benefits to the individual and to the city. But not all benefit equally – those that are older, and those from more deprived communities take part less frequently.

We have a unique opportunity in the next few years to get Scotland Active, around the time of the Commonwealth Games. Physical Inactivity is a fundamental public health challenge of our age and we must grasp the chance to make this easiest for all.

Starting this week is the 5x50 Run the World challenge. We're encouraging young and old, and people from all backgrounds to sign up, and encourage others to do so. Those that exercise regularly are healthier, happier and live longer, so it's well worth doing."

Bruce Whyte, GCPH Public Health Programme Manager, believes that the report poses some interesting questions in relation to planning for future participation and whether the findings are to be expected or should be met with concern.

“'Who runs in Glasgow?' shows that, while the major running events in Glasgow – the Great Scottish Run, Women’s 10K and Junior run – attract participants from across Scotland, within Glasgow itself there is a far higher proportion of entrants from the more affluent parts of the city. On top of this, relatively few older adults enter the adult races and in the junior race, boys are much more likely to take part than girls at all ages. So I would ask should we – Glaswegians – be concerned by this or should we accept these patterns as immutable?”

Let us know what you think about the survey findings in the comments. You can also keep up to date with the latest from GCPH using our twitter feed.

You can download the full Who runs in Glasgow? report here.

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