The Physio Hub

Is running bad for your knees?

Is running bad for your knees?

It is a common belief that the high impact nature of running is bad for our knees. People believe the repetition and the force taken with each stride can negatively impact our joints leading to arthritic changes.


If performed correctly, running can strengthen the joints and reduce the risk of arthritis. The compression of the joints which comes with running brings more fluid to the joints keeping them lubricated.

This does not mean knee injuries aren’t prevalent in runners, but there are no negative effects on the joint health by your participation in running.

There are factors which increase your risk of injury whilst running, these are:


  • ‘With each pound of body weight, your knees absorb about 1.5 pounds of stress when you walk. This jumps to nearly 4 pounds when you run’
  • Running is a great activity to help shed the pounds and will largely reduce the absorption needed at the joints when weight bearing


  • Footwear must provide stability, support and feel like an extension of your foot
  • Running shoes are specifically created to encourage optimum biomechanics and are typically lighter than other shoes meaning we can run more efficiently

Running volume

  • Changes in your training regime (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type) can be a cause of some overuse injuries. These changes in your program need to be progressive.

Check out the next blog post for an insight into running volume and the 80/20 rule.