Tell us more about yourself and the author’s team
I am a researcher at the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute, even as my co-author Ellen Kemler. Vincent Gouttebarge is a former colleague at Amsterdam UMC, Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. I have a background in Human Movement Science and did a PhD on enhancing performance and preventing injuries in team sports players. About 5 years ago, I started at the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute as a data analyst/researcher, mainly on traffic and sports.
What is the story behind your study?
Novice runners have a high injury risk, and injury-preventive behaviour is essential in preventing injuries. In collaboration with (novice) runners and running experts, the intervention (Runfitcheck) was developed. In an earlier study, it was shown effective in stimulating injury-preventive behaviour; in our study, we evaluated the effectiveness of this intervention on running-related injuries.
In your own words, what did you find?
While the Runfitcheck was shown to have an effect on the injury-preventive behaviour of runners, unfortunately, no effect was found on the actual risk of running-related injuries.
What was the main challenge you faced in your study?
The study was done in a real-life setting, making it challenging to find enough novice runners to ensure they complied with it. However, this also made the results better transferable to practice. With a real-life monitoring study, missing data are inevitable, making analysing the data another challenge.
If there is one take-home message from your study, what would that be?
More research in preventing injuries in novice runners is needed; injury preventive behaviour and awareness of the risks are essential. But how do we reach the novice runner and create this awareness to implement preventive behaviour? That is another crucial question to be answered.