Over 6 million runs completed using the NHS app in 2022
More than 6 million runs were completed using the Couch to 5k app across the UK in 2022, helping people to get fit for free.
The app - a free running plan for beginners provided by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) in partnership with the BBC - helped people to complete 6.46 million runs between 1 January and 29 December 2022. OHID was formerly Public Health England.
"It’s brilliant to see so many people have kept active through using the NHS Couch to 5K app in 2022," said Deputy Chief Medical Officer and joint lead for OHID Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy. "With over 6 million runs completed this year, every run represents someone taking a small step towards improving their health."
Regular running has been shown to reduce the risk of long-term illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, as well as helping to maintain a healthier weight and improve your mood.
A recent YouGov poll found that 10% of adults in Great Britain have either cancelled or are considering cancelling a gym or other sports or exercise membership due to the rising cost of living, with the Couch to 5k app a great alternative for people struggling to pay for gym or sports memberships.
860,000 people used the app to do at least one run between 1 January and 29 December 2022. Designed for people who have done little or no running, the app provides guided commentary from a celebrity coach of their choosing and helps users to easily track their progress by doing 3 runs per week.
Runners are spurred on by one of many celebrity coaches, including Reece Parkinson, Yasmin Evans, Jo Whiley, Denise Lewis, Sanjeev Kohli and Sarah Millican, as well as Mum Laura - the original programme trainer - who returned to the app by popular demand.
As each running challenge is completed, users receive celebration videos and summaries of their progress. ‘Discover’ and ‘support’ sections help people to overcome setbacks with helpful articles and videos. Buddy runs are also available where users can invite others on the app to run together, either in person or virtually.