Is Running Good for Your Knees? - Amaruak Archive



Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Is Running Good for Your Knees?

Every activity has its advantages and disadvantages. Generally, running is known to be good for overall health but bad to the knees. However, some recent studies have shown opposite results. When examining the knees of people who have been running for over years, it was found that their knee health was actually better compared to non-runners, contrary to common belief. So, does running actually strengthen the knees and contribute to knee health? It may not be as straightforward as it seems.

A running robot

1. Survivorship Bias

During World War II, researchers from the U.S. Navy analyzed bullet holes in surviving fighter planes. The analysis revealed that the bullets were concentrated in the wings and tail of the aircraft. As a result, the military decided to reinforce those areas. However, a statistician presented an opposing view. The argument was that instead of reinforcing the wings and tail where the majority of bullet holes were found, the body of the aircraft should be reinforced. The reason behind this was that planes that were shot in the body were unable to return and thus were not included in the data collection. This is known as 'Survivorship Bias', where focusing on specific data can lead to incorrect conclusions when diagnosing a problem.

2. Running and Survivorship Bias

The aforementioned recent studies were conducted on people who continued to run. However, there are also many people around us who used to run but had to stop due to deteriorating knee health. Individuals who have been running for more than 10 years may naturally have stronger knees compared to the average person, allowing them to continue running.

Among people who live past 100 years, there are also smokers, and when their lungs are examined, some of them have healthier lungs compared to non-smokers. However, we all know that this doesn't mean smoking is good for lung health.

3. Conclusion

I am not a specialized scientist in this field, so I cannot conclude whether running is good or bad for the knees. However, it is necessary to also investigate people who have stopped running due to deteriorating knee health in order to find an accurate solution. Through additional research like this, we will be able to definitively answer the question posed in the title of this article in the near future.

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