The Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study


Running is Healthy — Injuries are Problematic


You are one of millions of others around the world who run on a regular basis. Running is one of the most popular types of physical activity in many different countries. This is a good thing, since running promotes many health benefits. However, running-related injuries are an all-too-common negative side effect. Theoretically, we should be able to prevent these injuries by adhering to a safe and enjoyable running schedule. But the knowledge about safe running schedules versus excessive ones is lacking, since little data has been collected in previous studies.


Who can join the study?


You are invited to join the research study entitled “Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study”, in which the relationship between running activity, personal characteristics and risk of running-related injuries will be investigated. Participation in this study is voluntary. You have the right not to participate at all or to leave the study at any time. Deciding not to participate or choosing to leave the study will not result in any penalty or loss of benefits to which you are entitled, and it will not harm your relationship with Garmin Ltd. and/or RUNSAFE, Denmark. The decision to join, or not to join, is up to you. All runners aged 18 or more are welcomed to register for the study. We are interested in studying all types of runners regardless their experience and running ability. We only require that you are the only user of your Garmin watch and Garmin Connect account and that you intend to register all your running activity with your Garmin watch during the course of the study.


What is involved in the study?


If you chose to participate in the study, you provide RUNSAFE researchers with valuable data from the time of enrollment to December 31st 2020 or until you decide to leave the study. During this period, you:

- Are free to schedule your running activities as you like. There are no requirements regarding when, where, how often, how fast and/or how far you run.

- Are not asked to follow any particular running or exercise program, the study is purely observational.

- Must agree to have your Garmin Connect data shared with RUNSAFE researchers (See below for more information on confidentiality and anonymization).

- Will receive baseline-, weekly- and monthly- questionnaires by e-mail, and there may also be additional questionnaires on an ad-hoc basis.

- Are free to leave the study at any time.


Benefits of participating in the study?


Data on running habits and injury status from thousands of runners is needed to get beyond running injuries. If you monitor your running with a Garmin watch, you have got the data we need. Therefore, we kindly ask you to join the largest running research study in the world entitled “Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study”, in which the relationship between running activity, personal characteristics and risk of running-related injuries will be investigated. Benefits of being enrolled include:

(i) You contribute to an improved understanding of the causes of running-related injuries and, ultimately, better prevention strategies through better running programs.

(ii) You will receive a monthly newsletter by e-mail from RUNSAFE regarding study progress and novel scientific findings from RUNSAFE as well as other research groups working with running-related injuries.

(iii) From a public-health perspective, the findings from this study will contribute to reduced socio-economic costs for injury treatment.


What data will be shared?


If you decide to participate, you will be asked to provide researchers at Aarhus University, Denmark with access to your Garmin Connect data through the Garmin Health API. Researchers will have access to this data until you decide to leave the study or until the study ends by December 31st, 2020. In addition to providing your Garmin Connect data, you will be asked to complete an enrollment and baseline questionnaire, as well as respond to scheduled questionnaires once weekly (regarding injury) and once monthly. Additional questionnaires may be distributed on an ad-hoc basis. Scheduled questionnaires will be sent to your email address. Weekly questionnaires should only take 1 to 5 minutes to complete. Monthly or ad-hoc questionnaires will take about 15 minutes. Over the course of a 1-year period, you will be asked to respond to 52 weekly questionnaires and 12 monthly questionnaires.


Confidentiality and Anonymization


We will take the following steps to keep information about you confidential, and to protect it from unauthorized disclosure, tampering, or damage: Aarhus University, Denmark has obtained approval from the Danish Data Protection Agency (the Danish Data Protection Agency’s journal-number: 2015-57-0002; Aarhus University’s journal-number: 62908, serial number 309) for its own processing and storage of the personal data of participants (first name, last name, e-mail address, and all other “personal data”) collected and processed by Aarhus University. Also, Aarhus University will always observe the obligations imposed by the Danish Act on Processing of Personal Data and the Executive Order (no. 528 of 15 June 2000) on Security Measures for Protection of Personal Data that is Processed for the Public Administration, and all other applicable laws and regulations. In any dissemination of study findings (including scientific articles published based on this study, conference presentations, media releases, etc.), no personally identifiable data will ever be included. No personally identifiable information (first name, last name, email address) will ever be shared outside of Aarhus University.

The RUNSAFE research group consists of researchers from several Danish institutions - including Aarhus University, Aalborg University Hospital (Dr. Sten Rasmussen, Søndre Skovvej 15, room 612, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark) and Aalborg University (Mr. René Korsgaard Brund, Frederik Bajers Vej 5, E2-208, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark). For the research project to be carried out, it is necessary for the entire RUNSAFE group to have access to all raw data. In case of data sharing, no personally identifiable information (first name, last name, e-mail address) will be distributed. Person-specific label numbers will be used to merge Garmin Connect data with injury data from questionnaires. These person-specific label numbers will be used during all sharing and processing of data within the RUNSAFE collaboration.

All data will be stored until December 31st, 2023.




Participants in the Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study will receive no money for their participation. In addition, they will receive no economic support to cover expenses related to clinical examinations and/or treatment. Since the project is observational in nature, we are not allowed to provide runners with advice on running programs or the treatment of running-related injuries.




The researchers (Senior Researchers, Post Docs, and Ph.D. students) collecting and analyzing data and publishing articles from The Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study are financially supported by Aarhus University, Aarhus University Research Fund and Aalborg University.


Risks and Liability


There are no direct risks of participating in the “Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study”. Aarhus University cannot be held responsible for any losses or damages, either direct or in-direct, on participants in the “Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study”.

The researchers may stop the study or remove you from the study at any time they judge it is in your best interest. They may also remove you from the study for various other reasons, such as no data uploaded to Garmin Connect or no response to questionnaires over a 6-month period. The researchers can remove you from the study without your consent.




RUNSAFE researchers intend to publish scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals based on data from the “Garmin-RUNSAFE Running Health Study”. In newsletters distributed by email, we will notify runners enrolled in the study of newly published findings and research activities.


Ethics committee approval


The Local Ethics Committee Central Denmark Region has approved the project under Request number: 227/2016 - Journal number: 1-10-72-189-16.

Please help us preventing running injuries by joining the study.

Garmin Ltd.

Aarhus University, Denmark

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