Apple Watch study gives insights into running and walking habits of more than 1,500 participants

New Apple Watch study gives insights running and walking habits
Curious about marathon runners? Also maybe looking into training to run a marathon yourself? A new Apple Watch-powered study offers some insight into the training habits of over 1,500 participants who ran an estimated 2,623 marathons throughout the study period, reports 9to5Mac.

Apple Heart and Movement Study provides insights into running and walking habits

The study was conducted by the Brigham and Women's Hospital. The data was taken from more than 1,500 participants who ran an estimated 2,623 marathons throughout the study period, which was from November 2019 to January 2024.

Since the study was launched, there have been over 197,700 participants who recorded at least one walking workout and about 99.400 with at least one running workout.

Also, the study provides estimates on the number of days it would take to complete a marathon (26 mi 385 yds or 42.195 km) based on the frequency of walks or runs and the distance traveled for 76,114 participants. That's based on data from April 2023.

From the data, the study concludes that half of the participants would walk and/or run 26.2 miles in 90 days or fewer. On average, it would take 334 days per marathon - that's so slow given the fact that some of the participants didn't log their runs or walks frequently. Of course, as you could probably guess, we're no talking about walking/running for 334 days straight.


In this post, the researchers weren't focusing on step count. However, a common approximation based on average stride length means 1 mile equates to roughly 2,000 steps. Yep, that means a marathon would be about 52,400 steps.

The study also provides some statistics. For example, we find more people with a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 18.5 and 24.9 as the distance that was walked or run increases. Also, the 35-44 age group seems to walk the most (I guess the youngsters just couldn't be bothered). 2.1% of the 27,521 runners in that age have achieved the 26.2-mile mark (or longer) during the study period.

  • Check out these tables if you want to know more about the numbers and characteristics of the 'running' participants

The Apple Heart and Movement Study also provides some tips on how to train for a marathon.

The study also provides interesting insights into the longest distance that participants provided, as well as their relative VO2 Max (maximum oxygen consumption) in the week before and after having run a marathon.

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