Research: running associated with positive personality traits

Survey from Nielsen reveals this and other insightful data on #GlobalRunningDay

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by Trail Running |

Runners are more likely to describe themselves as "warm and friendly", "family oriented", "optimistic" and "fun and outgoing", according to a survey carried out by Nielsen.

To coincide with #GlobalRunningDay, the research has been published to show the positive effect that running can have, as well as the increase in popularity of the activity over the past year.

Among the interesting findings are that runners are more likely to associate themselves with several positive personality traits compared to non-runners.

For example, among those who have never been runners, 36% describe themselves as "warm and friendly". This compared to 40% for those who are lapsed runners and 45% for those who are runners. For "easy going", it's 32% for those who have never run as against 39% among runners.

Here's the full list showing how people answered "Which of the following characteristics would you use to describe yourself?"

Warm and friendly 36% (never runners) v 45% (runners)

Easy going 32% (never runners) v 39% (runners)

Family oriented 33% (never runners v 39% (runners)

Optimistic 34% (bever runners) v 38% (runners)

Confident 21% (never runners) v 38% (runners)

Passionate 13% (never runners) v 34% (runners)

Energetic 11% (never runners) v 33% (runners)

Curious 18% (never runners) v 31% (runners)

Fun and outgoing 15% (never runners) v 29% (runners)

Funny 18% (never runners) v 29% (runners)

Competitive 7% (never runners) v 25% (runners)

A leader 9% (never runners) v 21% (runners)

Inspirational 5% (never runners) v 20% (runners)

The same research also revealed that, in the 10 countries in which it was carried out, 40% of people considered themselves to be runners. The gender split was quite equal, with 53% of these being male.

In looking at the effect the pandemic has had on pandemic levels, it was found that 13% of all runners started since April 2020 and that 9% of all runners said the Covid-19 crisis had played at least some part in this decision.

The results also showed that 22% of runners claimed to have run more in the past year than they did previously and that 20% say they will continue to run more once the pandemic is over.

Only 5% of all runners said they ran "because I feel I have to but don't enjoy it". In contrast, 41% said "I'm passionate about running and it's part of who I am".

The runners were also asked further about their motivations. Given the question, "Thinking about the reasons why you run, how influential are the following factors on your decision to run?", the most popular answer was "general health and wellbeing – to keep fit" (74%).

"The fact that I could go at my own pace" was the next popular with 68%. Also high up as motivating factors were the fact that you don't need much equipment, combatting stress, the fact that you can run a time that suits you and appreciating the outdoors.

Of those surveyed, 73% felt that running was good for their minds as well as their bodies.

#GlobalRunningDay is an excellent day to sign up to Trail Running's #Run1000Miles challenge and make the most out of the many benefits that running provides. Find out how to register for free and gain discounts from our partners.

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