Young runners defy downward trend in exercise habits with newly formed Run Club

Young runners defy downward trend in exercise habits with newly formed Run Club

With data showing a decline in physical activity, a group of young adults have created a running club as part of local event, Park Run. (Image via Maddi Moss)

By Juliette Aubert | @AubJuliette

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows only one in four Australians meet the Department of Health’s physical activity and exercise guidelines.

73.4 per cent of people undertake at least 150 minutes of physical activity during the week. But on average, this is only 20 minutes per day – barely scraping the recommended two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate intensity activity per week.

Three in four Australians do not meet the Department of Health’s exercise guidelines, according to the ABS. (Image: Juliette Aubert)

Young couple, Blake Derer and Abigail Batten, have committed their Saturday mornings to running paths in Adelaide’s southern suburbs as part of the community event, Park Run.

Park Run is a free, volunteer-led event that takes place on Saturdays at 8am across the nation.

With a simple registration, runners receive a QR code to track their results and even compete with other participants.

Blake and Abigail formed their own group, Run Club, to take part in Park Run and monitor their weekly progress.

“I was doing Park Run casually probably about a year ago but didn’t get into it until my footy club started going in pre-season last year,” Blake says.

“The rest is history; I have been going every weekend since.”

Fellow Run Club member, Maddi Moss, says she has seen a major improvement in both her physical and mental health since joining.

“I have noticed a difference in my stamina every week,” Maddi says.

“If I don’t attend one week, my stats drop.

“It can be quite disheartening but truly reflects how important consistent exercise is in maintaining my health and stamina.”

The ABS data also revealed almost half of people describe their workday activity as “mostly sitting” with the second most common activity being “standing”.

The spread of activity on a typical workday, according to the ABS. (Image: Juliette Aubert)

Maddi says she has noticed a big difference in her exercise habits since completing university and undertaking a new office job.

“During my degree, I was working part-time in retail, which meant I was on my feet all day,” she says.

“Now I’m in an office job where I sit most of the day.

“This is one of the big reasons I decided to join in on the Run Club, especially after quitting soccer.”

Around ten people have joined Abigail, Blake and Maddi in their Run Club and they continue to recruit more of their friends.

“It has become part of my routine and something I look forward to each week as it’s an opportunity to challenge myself and catch up with friends,” Abigail says.

If the statistics show us anything, it’s that a healthy lifestyle cannot be our last priority. Grab your friends and create your own running club at any weekly, local Park Run event.

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