Why is the parkrun so popular?

The parkrun (written with a small “p”) is a collection of in excess of 2000 5-kilometre (or 3.1 mile) events for walkers and runners which are held every Saturday morning in twenty two countries around the world. In addition to that there is a childrens parkrun over 2 kilometres (1.25 miles) for kids aged 4 to 14 on a Sunday morning. These parkrun’s happen to be free to take part and are staffed and run by volunteers, even though there can be a a few employed personnel at its headquarters. The parkrun was launched by Paul Sinton-Hewitt with the initial run getting put on at Bushy Park in London, England on 2 October back in 2004. The event grew from there becoming duplicated in many other Great Britain venues. They were at first referred to as UK Time Trials with the label, parkrun, initially getting used in 2008 when expansion began to take place in other countries. The parkruns occur in various sorts of locations including parks, nature parks, woodlands, estuaries and rivers, lakes, beaches, as well as prisons. Those participants that have completed 50, 100, or 500 of the runs are given a free tee shirt. Once a participant has registered on the parkrun website and gets a bar code, they’re able to travel to and take part in any throughout the world where they are usually referred to as “tourists”. The record holder of the run for men is Andrew Baddeley with a time of 13 minutes and 48 seconds and the woman’s fastest is Lauren Reid who has a time of 15 minutes and 45 seconds.

The founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt was granted a CBE by the Queen for his services to grassroots sports activity in 2014 for that which parkrun has become. At the moment you will find nearly 7 million participants registered worldwide with parkrun. This amazing fast growth is mainly due to its simpleness and accessibility. Participants only need to signup on the web just once after which they basically turn up at any parkrun event and run. The inclusive viewpoint can also be almost certainly one factor as participants cover anything from competitive and fast club athletes to those that just walk the 5km. Wheelchair users, individuals pushing strollers with young children and individuals running with their animals are welcome. The events happen to be acclaimed among the list of greatest public health initiatives of our time for promoting exercise as well as as being a social movement to the common good.

Each parkrun event is staffed and administered by volunteers with the important equipment furnished by the parkrun head office. These volunteers are considered the heart of the parkrun movement and their efforts are credited on the parkrun’s web site every week. A short while ago the writer, Eileen Jones journeyed around the UK and stopped at a lot of the 730 parkrun venues there and spoke with runners and walkers and discussed the way a 5km event on a Saturday morning had changed their life. Jone’s work was published in a book having the title of “how parkrun changed our lives”.

At the start of March in 2020, the vast majority of parkrun gatherings ended up cancelled around the world as a consequence of the COVID crisis. At the beginning of 2021 some events started to return, primarily since the pandemic began to be controlled in some countries around the world.

What do eSports Athletes eat?

Press release:

A can of Red Bull next to the computer mouse, a bag of potato chips next to the keyboard – that’s how many people imagine nutrition in eSports. “The energy drink is indeed part of the diet for many,” says Professor Ingo Froböse, head of the Institute of Movement Therapy and movement-oriented Prevention and Rehabilitation at the German Sport University Cologne, “but overall, eSports players actually eat better than the general population.”

This is the result of the third eSport study by the German Sport University Cologne, which was presented in Cologne on February 3, 2021. The two previous eSport studies focused on training and health behavior as well as media consumption and mental well-being; this year’s survey concentrates on nutrition. Together with the AOK Rhineland/Hamburg, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse surveyed about 820 eSport athletes of all skill levels. A special challenge this year: Due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the data of the eSport Study 2021 was not collected at eSport events, but completely online.

Energy drinks are part of eSports

The consumption of energy drinks, which is often associated with eSports, is more than just a cliché. Around 40 percent of respondents consume the drinks regularly, drinking just over one can per week on average. Energy drink manufacturers have been sponsoring major eSports events and teams for years. In addition, many of these drinks are associated with a supposed increase in performance and thus appear particularly attractive for eSports players. These marketing strategies could well explain why consumption among gamers is above average. “The high amounts of sugar in these beverages should of course be viewed negatively from a health science perspective. Accordingly, consumption should be significantly reduced,” says Froböse, who recommends a handful of nuts and lightly sweetened tea instead for an energy boost in the game.

Nevertheless, overall sugar consumption is significantly lower than that of the general population. Whether soft drinks, chocolate or other sweets, eSport players consume less than other groups. An average of one bar of chocolate per week and a small bowl of salty snacks indicate health-conscious eating behavior.

Furthermore, fast food and ready-to-eat products are only eaten twice a week on average. The cliché of a quick slice of pizza in front of the console therefore seems to be outdated.

Meat is preferred to vegetables

However, there is still a need for optimization. “We see the same problem among eSport athletes as in the general population: there is still too much meat and too few vegetables on the menu,” Froböse concludes. While the German Nutrition Society recommends five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, just 15 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women surveyed achieve this recommendation. Although an above-average proportion of eSport players are vegetarians or vegans (14.8 %), the remaining group eats meat almost every day. “In particular, the consumption of red meat, which is associated with negative effects on health, should be reduced accordingly,” explains Froböse.

DIY cooking is the trend

The survey results show that half of all respondents do their own cooking at least five days a week. Only five percent of respondents leave the cooking of meals completely to someone else. This is even more astonishing when one considers that the group of esport players consists of 86 percent men, who, who actually cook rather rarely according to previous studies. “Of course, we hope that this development will continue after the pandemic. Those who cook for themselves also decide what ends up in the cooking pot. This is the first step towards a healthy and balanced diet,” explains Rolf Buchwitz, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the AOK Rhineland/Hamburg.

No negative influence from the pandemic

The results of the study also reveal that the pandemic has only a minor impact on the health behavior of the respondents. As in previous years, the average level of physical activity among the target group is well above the recommendations of the World Health Organization. The eSports players spend more than nine and a half hours per week on physical activity. That’s about an hour more than that of respondents of last year’s study. Almost all respondents also still rate their health and well-being as good. “We would have expected the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions on everyday life to have a negative impact on the respondents’ own health ratings and sense of well-being. Instead, the target group was able to maintain the level of previous years and even improve it in some cases,” says Froböse.

Still potential for optimization overall

“In general, the clichés of the junk-food-eating gamer are outdated,” concludes Froböse on the eSports study 2021. “Reducing the consumption of meat and energy drinks can be an important starting point for targeted health promotion that takes both health and performance of eSport players to the next level.”

Choosing Running Shoes

Picking out the best suited running shoe is a vital choice that the runner needs to make. As there are a couple of hundred distinct brands and models of athletic shoes out there, this is simply not exactly an uncomplicated selection to make. Each of those models of athletic shoes include different design properties which need to be matched up to the foot shape, running form as well as experiences of the runner. It is broadly thought to be an essential decision which needs to be made and was previously one of the most expensive choices that a runner will have to make (now the wearable technology to track runners’ costs more than athletic shoes). It is considered that from the improper choice of running footwear is made that this will predispose the runner for an greater risk for a running overuse injury.

The first bit of advice for any athlete is to stay with what they are acquainted with. If the running footwear that they’re currently making use of is doing the job, then there is no reason in switching these. Unfortunately, the running footwear brands do usually tend to modify or improve their athletic shoes designs from year upon year, making this not always possible. If a particular running shoe model will modify a lot from what a runner is used to, you can find usually quite a few other running shoes that might be comparable to which can be selected from. The important thing should be to persist with what you’re familiar with and used to running in. That will not be feasible for those that are a newcomer to running. These new runners really should go to a speciality running shoe retailer and get good quality guidance as to what is a great entry level running shoe for first time runners.

The second piece of advice is to get the fit appropriate. Various running footwear versions can be found in different widths, so finding a running shoe that is the appropriate width for the feet are essential for comfort reasons and to steer clear of such things as blisters. The length is required to be correct to steer clear of issues such as injury to the toe nails. The footwear should really be longer than the foot by approximately a thumbs width. Various running footwear brands make use of various lasts that the footwear is made on. This affects the design of the upper of the shoe and it will take a bit of experimentation to discover a running shoe type that the upper which accurately matches the shape of the foot.

The third bit of advice is usually that the running footwear have to be comfortable. This tends to have a sizeable effect and how you are feeling on runs, especially the longer runs. A less than comfortable running shoe is going to make the run to some degree unpleasant. This is where running shoe stores which have a treadmill can be worth their weight in gold. This lets you have a brief jog or run to see how the shoes feel. It is advisable to note not just how the footwear feels but additionally the way you react to the running shoe when you contact the ground and when you press forward on the running shoe.

College Football Players Underestimate Risk of Injury and Concussion

College football players may underestimate their risk of injury and concussion, according to a new study published today in JAMA Network Open.

Christine Baugh, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and member of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, is the corresponding author of the article, “Accuracy of US College Football Players’ Estimates of Their Risk of Concussion or Injury.”

Baugh and co-authors report on survey results of 296 college football players from four teams in the Power 5 Conferences of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Athletes were surveyed in 2017. The researchers found that between 43 percent and 91 percent of respondents underestimated their risk of injury and between 42 percent and 63 percent underestimated their risk of concussion.

To measure the accuracy of football players’ risk estimations, the researchers modeled individual athletes’ probabilities of sustaining a concussion or injury and compared model estimates to athlete perceptions. While recognizing that many people underestimate health risks, the authors point out that the risks college football athletes face may be more severe or debilitating than those faced by many in the general population. Given this elevated risk profile, they say it is concerning that athletes tend to underestimate the likelihood of these risks. These results raise questions about informed consent and how much risk should be acceptable in the context of a game, Baugh and her co-authors write.

“That athletes underestimated their risk of concussion and injury in this study raises important ethical considerations,” Baugh and her colleagues write. “What is the threshold for college athletes to be sufficiently informed of the risks and benefits of football to make decisions that align with their values and preferences?”

In addition to Baugh, four co-authors are listed. Those authors are affiliated with the University of Washington, the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, where Baugh completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Mental Health Policy prior to joining the CU School of Medicine.

RunEASI wearable enables runners to train and rehabilitate more efficiently

The wearable is worn around the waist.

Being able to exercise without pain or injury: it’s every athlete’s dream as well as the goal of RunEASI, a new spin-off of KU Leuven. RunEASI’s wearable measures the impact experienced by runners and provides scientific feedback that can help them avoid and recover from injuries. The spin-off is supported by the Gemma Frisius Fund and the Freshmen investment fund.

Runners typically use a heart rate monitor, but this device does not offer insight into how the body responds to the impact caused by the feet landing on the ground. And yet, this impact is precisely what determines the risk of injuries. RunEASI – which originated from a collaboration between movement and computer scientists at KU Leuven – has therefore developed a wearable application that does assess these important parameters.

This is achieved using a sensor that is attached to the lower back with a belt and is connected to an app. The sensors measures the impact on the body while running and detects any movement compensations that may occur. The app provides feedback to improve the running pattern. RunEASI is the first application that can perform such an analysis and intervention in a scientifically validated and efficient way. The application will be available on the market as of mid-February 2021.

Stability, symmetry, impact

“We are trying to establish the link between the way in which someone runs, the associated impact loads, and the risk of injuries,” says Professor Benedicte Vanwanseele from the Human Movement Biomechanics unit at KU Leuven. “Three parameters are key to this: stability, symmetry, and impact.”

“Research has shown that trunk instability increases with a runner’s fatigue level. When this is combined with high impact loads, this creates a compensatory pattern that increases the risk of overuse injuries. Symmetry shows whether the impact is equally divided between left and right: after an injury, for instance, a runner may favour one leg without realising it. Last, but not least, the impact parameter shows how the body responds to the shocks that occur when the foot strikes the ground.”

“Our tool intervenes when the data show that the runner has a harmful running pattern,” says computer science professor Jesse Davis. “AI allows us to analyse when the body is exposed to the most severe impacts. This can depend on the surface, the pace, the duration of the training, the runner’s fatigue, and other factors. On the basis of this analysis, coaches and physiotherapists can proactively adjust the runners’ training.”

More insight and better support

“With RunEASI we want to help runners, whether it be professional or recreational ones, to achieve their goals with less risk of injury,” explain co-founders Kurt Schütte (CEO) and Tim Op De Beéck (CTO). “The way our sensor is attached is unique and was developed in cooperation with the orthopaedic experts at Steunzoolpunt. It enables us to measure our new movement metrics very efficiently and accurately. Physiotherapists can use this scientific analysis to better assess when someone is ready to resume training after an injury.”

“We strongly believe in digital tools that improve a person’s quality of life, and this ambition is also reflected in RunEASI,” says Steven Spittaels of the Freshmen investment fund. “It’s an application that, thanks to its scientific feedback, can be of great added value to runners and professional healthcare providers. Athletes obviously want to know how to stay injury free and we want to support RunEASI to help them achieve this.”

“We are extremely grateful for the belief and financial support of the Gemma Frisius Fund and Freshmen Fund,” responds CEO Kurt Schütte. “With their support, we can fulfil our mission and ambition to make the world run better.”

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More information

The RunEASI wearable can be pre-ordered and will be available as of mid-February 2021. Check the website for further information: runeasi.ai