M.Sc. Occupational Health & Safety

Runners views sought for reserach

21 to 27 of 27 messages
05/10/2006 at 12:48
Hi Carmen,
I think you have hit the nail on the head. Have a good look at what you are doing and how you are doing it - then do everything praticable to reduce the risk!! Voila - a perfect risk assessment!
05/10/2006 at 12:51
If you were to sit down and risk assess running as we would an engineering task, ie:the likelyhood of incident weighed against severity and consequence of incident compared to the long term effect of not running, then there seems to be a sensible case for running moderate amounts with the proper precautions in place.
05/10/2006 at 18:13
There is 'Risk' in everything that we do and without realising it people do 'risk assessment' all the time, for example:

If I'm crossing the road, will I make it across before that car hits me or am I going to hospital?

When you wake in the morning there is always a 'risk' that you will die that day.

I didn't even think about risks when I first started running all those years ago. Nowdays the only risk I am bothered about is getting run over as I cannot hear the traffic (the reason why most of my training is off road)
05/10/2006 at 23:10
I ran and took part in orienteering events when younger and don't think I ever thought of any risks other than that of the possibility of a sprained ankle or other minor injury.I remember people talking about James Fixx dying of a heart attack but it didn't bother me then.

The development of type 1 diabetes 18 months ago gave me the impetus to (re)start running. It was an attempt to escape the possible future of blindness, dialysis, amputation or heart disease which loomed before me.
I didn't consider the cons, only the pros. As far as I could see it all the risks were lessened by exercise and running was the simplest way. I started escaping and running round the carpark and up and down the stairs whilst still in hospital wearing an insulin pump (now that in retrospect was a risk as I didn't know amything about insulin or pumps)
Because I feel fitter than before (and all the medical checks confirm this) I feel that the risks of stopping are far greater than the risks of carrying on.
I'm not blind to potential problems but they can be lessened. I worry about impact on joints (I'm 54) so never run 2 days in a row and wear supportive shoes and run on trails much of the time. I could fall down or have a serious hypo in the middle of nowhere so my husband always knows which route I've taken . I wear an identity tag. I'm too old and slow to be competitive so I don't consider there's a risk pushing of myself too hard.
Like everyone else here I'll continue running in spite of scare stories, perhaps you need to ask the same question on a forum for more sedentary interests.
05/10/2006 at 23:23
Deaths in all GNRs over 26 years 13 out of 700,000 runners.

I guess that means approximately 699,987 runners didn't die doing the GNR.

06/10/2006 at 16:19
Shearchick, of course I will send you a copy.
Extreme Muzzy, you are so right by the way.

Teulieres, you and I have roughly the same opinion. For me, the risk of not running has far more implications than not.

When I started running I didn't think about risks, apart from getting knocked over by cars when running in the dark. I feel great two years on...best thing I ever did.

I really do think, and I must be aware of bias, that my research is going to suggest what we all know anyway. As long as your sensible, well kitted out, the risks of running are very easily minimised.
06/10/2006 at 18:21
One of my mates tried to encourage me to stop running once as he said it would be bad for my knees. This belief was that I should stop running in case I got an injury which meant I couldn't run (but could walk ok). That made no sense to me - why stop doing someone to avoid the risk of having to stop it later.

As an asthmatic, I suppose my risk factor is bigger than most peoples as I could have an attack at any time. Given I don't generally keep my inhaler on me when I run, this could be quite dangerous so I've started making sure I always have it on me when I'm in remote locations. Saying that though, running actually makes my asthma better, so the risk I'm taking is a small chance of a worst situation in order to gain an improvement.

The biggest risk I've identified though is when I used to run along some woods a few years back. These are woods in the middle of a farmer's field and I never saw anyone else ever use them. It got me wondering what would actually hapen if I was to fall over a branch, break my leg and be unable to get up. No-one would be about to help me, I would be unable to move and stuck there. If it was a particularly cold night, wearing on the ground outdoors in shorts and a t-shirt might not be a good idea. Given I live on my own, it could be a few days before anyone noticed I was missing, and no-one would know where to look for me.

The biggest hazard I've ever faced though as a few years ago being very stiff after a half-marathon, relaxing in the bath and my leg muscles really tightened up. They were so tight I was unable to get out of the bath. Living on my own, all sorts of stuff started going through my mind about what happens if I can't get out for days and end up trapped in the bath for ages after the water got cold. As my bathroom is tiled and enclosed (no outside walls), shouting for help wouldn't be much use. Needless to say after another while in the bath my muscles relaxed so there was no problem at all.

Anyway, as you can tell, I like to put cheery ideas into people's heads at the start of the weekend.

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