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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Oct;44(10):733-8. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2014.5710. Epub 2014 Aug 25.

What do recreational runners think about risk factors for running injuries? A descriptive study of their beliefs and opinions.

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Masters and Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, São Paulo Running Injury Group, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



Qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews.


To describe the beliefs and opinions of runners about risk factors associated with running injuries.


Despite the health benefits of running, a high prevalence of injury has been reported in runners. Preventive strategies for running injuries may be more successful with a better knowledge of runners' beliefs.


A semi-structured interview of recreational runners was based on the question, "What do you think can cause injuries in runners?" Analysis of the interviews was performed in 3 steps: (1) organizing the data into thematic units, (2) reading and reorganizing the data according to frequency of citation, and (3) interpreting and summarizing the data. The runner interviews were continued until no new beliefs and opinions of runners regarding injuries were being added to the data, indicating saturation of the topic.


A total of 95 recreational runners (65 men, 30 women) between the ages of 19 and 71 years were interviewed. Of those interviewed, the average running experience was 5.5 years and approximately 45% had experienced a running-related injury in the past. The factors suggested by the runners were divided into extrinsic and intrinsic factors. The most cited extrinsic factors were "not stretching," "excess of training," "not warming up," "lack of strength," and "wearing the wrong shoes." For the intrinsic factors, the main terms cited were "not respecting the body's limitations" and "foot-type changes."


Recreational runners mainly attributed injury to factors related to training, running shoes, and exceeding the body's limits. Knowing the factors identified in this study may contribute to the development of better educational strategies to prevent running injuries, as some of the runners' beliefs are not supported by the research literature.


prevention; qualitative research; running; shoes

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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