Live Better

Australians running towards a more active future

How many Australians are running or jogging?

Australians are running and jogging more than they were ten years ago, with participation rates growing more than 50% across both disciplines over the last nine years.

According to the Medibank Better Health Index, in the year 2015-16, 3.4% of Australians reported that they ran long distance events like marathons for exercise, up from 2.1% in 2007-2008. Jogging saw a much higher participation rate of 21.8% of Australians for the year 2015-16, with a similar rate of growth over to running.

Somewhat surprisingly, month-by-month participation rates peaked in the middle of the year, rather than enjoying an expected ‘New Year’s Resolution’ bump in January and February. June recorded the highest number of both runners and joggers, at 4.2% and 26.4% respectively.

Similarly, both running and jogging also shared their lowest participation rates in October, at 2.5% and 18.5% respectively. This may be explained by the beginning of winter and cooler weather, which is far more pleasant to exercise in than the heat of an Australian summer. June is also the month many people might start training for major national running events – it’s the perfect time to start a sixteen week training schedule for the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival in October.

State-by-State Running

Victoria led the states, with 4.2% of the population getting out there for a run. This was higher than the next two states, with NSW/ACT combined and QLD both reporting that about 3.3% of the population in each state runs for exercise.

South Australia and Western Australia had the lowest participation rates, with 2.6% and 2.7% respectively.

State-by-State Jogging

Despite having one of the lowest participation rates for running, Western Australia came out on top for jogging, with 23.2% of the population indicating they jogged, just edging out Victoria which came in second. South Australia was found to have the lowest participation rate for both running and jogging in Australia.

Don’t run in isolation

While these are encouraging nation-wide trends, Australia still remains one of the heaviest nations on earth. This is despite MHBI data also suggesting that Australians are exercising more in general compared to ten years ago.

“Exercise is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s important to remember that health and wellness is much more than exercise in isolation. Maintaining a healthy diet is also essential. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking exercise ‘cancels out’ regular poor food choices.”

Medibank is proud to partner with parkrun, a non-profit organisation that hosts weekly 5 km running events, all across Australia and the world. Best of all, it’s held early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday, and it’s 100% free. It’s not about competing with other people – it’s about pushing yourself to be better, one step at a time.

Medibank is also the title sponsor of the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival, held on the 16th October, 2016. If you’re ready to take the next step up from parkrun, there’s sure to be an event distance that suits you with 3km, 5.7km, 10km, half marathon and marathon events all being held on the day.

To read more about the event, and get some tips on becoming a better runner, visit

Latest Articles

Health Insights

When should you worry about your teen?

Teenage angst or depression? How to tell the difference. Read more

Healthy Living

What to do if you get sick in Australia

A simple guide to help you get the right medical attention. Read more

Healthy Living

Are you cutting your toenails correctly?

Straight or curved? Podiatrist Joseph Frenkel explains. Read more


Worried that you’re gaining weight at Uni?

We’ve got simple pro-active approaches to a common issue. Read more

Healthy Living

Eating for a healthy heart

Take care of your heart with these dos and don’ts. Read more

Healthy Living

Let’s talk about (safe) sex

So you want to have sex? Here’s what you need to think about. Read more

youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickPage 1Group 10Group 9Group 2sign-up-userArtboard CopyArtboard Copy 15Artboard Copy 3Artboard Copy 4Artboard Copy 8Artboard Copy 17Artboard Copy 9Group CopyArtboard Copy 6Artboard Copy 7Artboard Copy 18Artboard Copy 10Artboard Copy 2Artboard CopyArtboard Copy 5Page 1Artboard Copy 12Artboard Copy 16ArtboardArtboard Copy 13Artboard Copy 14Artboard Copy 11np_phone_503983_000000download_red4xdownload_red4x copyArtboardmember-offer-starLogoMedibank - Logo - ColourOval 5lemon-speechInstagram iconicon-editdownload_red4x copygive-back--spinesgive-back--moneygive-back--massagegive-back--likegive-back--jointgive-back--emailgive-back--dislikedownload_red4xdownload_red4xGroup 5filter-iconfacebookShape Copy 2Mobile Navcheckcarret-upcarret-rightcarret-leftcarret-downGroup Copy 2Group 17arrowarrow-circleanimated-tick