Understanding different types of recreational runners and how they use running-related technology

Mark A. Janssen (Corresponding author), Ruben Walravens, Erik Thibaut, Jeroen Scheerder, Aarnout C. Brombacher, Steven B. Vos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to help professionals in the field of running and running-related technology (i.e., sports watches and smartphone applications) to address the needs of runners. It investigates the various runner types—in terms of their attitudes, interests, and opinions (AIOs) with regard to running—and studies how they differ in the technology they use. Data used in this study were drawn from the standardized online Eindhoven Running Survey 2016 (ERS2016). In total, 3723 participants completed the questionnaire. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis were used to identify the different running types, and crosstabs obtained insights into the use of technology between different typologies. Based on the AIOs, four distinct runner types were identified: casual individual, social competitive, individual competitive, and devoted runners. Subsequently, we related the types to their use of sports watches and apps. Our results show a difference in the kinds of technology used by different runner types. Differentiation between types of runners can be useful for health professionals, policymakers involved in public health, engineers, and trainers or coaches to adapt their services to specific segments, in order to make use of the full potential of running-related systems to support runners to stay active and injury-free and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2276
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Attitudes
  • Clusters
  • Interest
  • Mobile applications
  • Recreational running
  • Running-related technology
  • Sports watches
  • Typology
  • Wearable


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