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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Letters: Write to reply

Barefoot or shod, people run best when they’re comfortable

Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 8

I was interested to read your recent feature on barefoot running (see HCM July 13, p38). Benno Nigg and Henrik Enders, from the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary, recently published an article entitled ‘Barefoot running – some critical considerations’ in the journal Footwear Science. This examined the known research into barefoot running’s effects on foot motion, training, running economy and injury.

Nigg and Enders dispute claims that running without shoes encourages a forefoot rather than a heel landing, making runners less prone to injury. They state that not only does the available research not prove any reduced injury risk, but also that other factors – such as the running surface, shoe choice, speed and individual preferences – play too large a role to make such generalisations possible. Likewise, the researchers found no difference between shod and barefoot movements in their ability to strengthen certain muscles.

They also question the main claim of barefoot supporters: that running without shoes leads to fewer injuries. They point to problems with the research on which the original claims were based and note that, while existing articles address the different injuries caused by different landing styles, they know of “no publication that provides hard evidence that people running barefoot have fewer injuries than people running in running shoes”. They conclude that “it is not known whether people running barefoot have more, equal, or fewer injuries than people running in conventional running shoes”.

When it comes to performance and injury, Nigg and Enders suggest that individual preference and running style is what matters: in the end, runners run best when they’re comfortable – whatever they’re wearing (or not) on their feet.

Ben Hudson, Marketing exec, Taylor & Francis Group

Swimming needs a centralised database

The findings of the recent ASA survey, which suggest that less than 60 per cent of 10- to 11-year-olds can swim just 25 metres, is incredibly worrying (see HCM July 13, p17). Swimming is a life skill and should be actively encouraged, with a firm place on the curriculum. It’s vital that PE funding is increased.

However, while I’m pleased the ASA has taken the initiative to carry out this survey, there are two major issues that mean the facts are based on speculation.

Firstly, the way school swimming is run across the country differs massively. Some operators hire out their pool space to schools; others actively run the sessions. We need to gain an understanding of which works best.

Secondly, data is collected in different ways by different organisations – some are still paper-based! – so it would be impossible to analyse the statistics collectively in their current format. The only way to truly understand current trends would be to have one central database of all swimmers across England.

The government must focus its efforts on enforcing the capture of information via a centralised database, so we have clear access to accurate data. Then we can focus on ensuring schools reach the target of 22 hours of lessons a year.

Ross McCaw, Director, Cap2 Solutions

Swimming is a life skill and there should be more funding for classes
Swimming is a life skill and there should be more funding for classes
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
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Barefoot or shod, people run best when they're comfortable, says Ben Hudson of Taylor & Francis Group
Barefoot, swimming,Barefoot, swimming
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features

Letters: Write to reply

Barefoot or shod, people run best when they’re comfortable

Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 8

I was interested to read your recent feature on barefoot running (see HCM July 13, p38). Benno Nigg and Henrik Enders, from the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary, recently published an article entitled ‘Barefoot running – some critical considerations’ in the journal Footwear Science. This examined the known research into barefoot running’s effects on foot motion, training, running economy and injury.

Nigg and Enders dispute claims that running without shoes encourages a forefoot rather than a heel landing, making runners less prone to injury. They state that not only does the available research not prove any reduced injury risk, but also that other factors – such as the running surface, shoe choice, speed and individual preferences – play too large a role to make such generalisations possible. Likewise, the researchers found no difference between shod and barefoot movements in their ability to strengthen certain muscles.

They also question the main claim of barefoot supporters: that running without shoes leads to fewer injuries. They point to problems with the research on which the original claims were based and note that, while existing articles address the different injuries caused by different landing styles, they know of “no publication that provides hard evidence that people running barefoot have fewer injuries than people running in running shoes”. They conclude that “it is not known whether people running barefoot have more, equal, or fewer injuries than people running in conventional running shoes”.

When it comes to performance and injury, Nigg and Enders suggest that individual preference and running style is what matters: in the end, runners run best when they’re comfortable – whatever they’re wearing (or not) on their feet.

Ben Hudson, Marketing exec, Taylor & Francis Group

Swimming needs a centralised database

The findings of the recent ASA survey, which suggest that less than 60 per cent of 10- to 11-year-olds can swim just 25 metres, is incredibly worrying (see HCM July 13, p17). Swimming is a life skill and should be actively encouraged, with a firm place on the curriculum. It’s vital that PE funding is increased.

However, while I’m pleased the ASA has taken the initiative to carry out this survey, there are two major issues that mean the facts are based on speculation.

Firstly, the way school swimming is run across the country differs massively. Some operators hire out their pool space to schools; others actively run the sessions. We need to gain an understanding of which works best.

Secondly, data is collected in different ways by different organisations – some are still paper-based! – so it would be impossible to analyse the statistics collectively in their current format. The only way to truly understand current trends would be to have one central database of all swimmers across England.

The government must focus its efforts on enforcing the capture of information via a centralised database, so we have clear access to accurate data. Then we can focus on ensuring schools reach the target of 22 hours of lessons a year.

Ross McCaw, Director, Cap2 Solutions

Swimming is a life skill and there should be more funding for classes
Swimming is a life skill and there should be more funding for classes
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_8letter.gif
Barefoot or shod, people run best when they're comfortable, says Ben Hudson of Taylor & Francis Group
Barefoot, swimming,Barefoot, swimming
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F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
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The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
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Featured supplier news: It’s nearly time for Elevate 2022!
It’s now just days to go until your leading trade show for the fitness, physical activity and sports therapy industry kicks off in London!
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Sport Alliance GmbH
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: énergie Fitness
Empowered Brands, owner of the énergie fitness business, has leveraged more than 18 years of ...
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Company profile: Future Fit
More than just a training provider, we offer a range of ready to go and ...
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
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Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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