Why do Runners Wave? A study by Mizuno

Happy Global Running Day! Wave at your fellow runners!

For those of you have met our blogger Teresa, you probably are familiar with her warm personality, infectious smile, and propensity for interacting and waving at every runner she passes. For the most part, I feel that Oregon is pretty high in the “waving” category, and although we have probably all ran in cities/states/locations where the interaction was minimal, I like to think that most runners are generally predisposed to waving.

Mizuno just completed a study that explored why runners wave. Here is some info:

As part of the “Wave” campaign launched in February, Mizuno partnered with Research Now to survey 1,000 runners nationwide. The survey covered a variety of questions, including how, why and when the runners acknowledge each other while out for a run. The results revealed runners’ feelings and tendencies in regard to all kinds of acknowledgement, including waving.

Below are some findings:

  • Most runners generally acknowledge other runners in some way.

    • 89% of all runners answered “Yes” or “Sometimes” when asked if they wave or acknowledge others while out for a run.
    • 29% of runners said they acknowledge others by waving.
  • Waving is considered a friendly or polite thing to do.
    • 30% of runners said they wave because they’re friendly.
    • 29% of runners said they wave to be polite.
  • A wave brings positive energy into the running world.
    • 79% of runners have positive feelings about waving.
    • 32% of runners said waving makes them feel happy.
    • 24% of runners said waving encourages them.
    • 23% of runners said waving makes them feel like part of a community.

Mizuno Wave Survey Infographic-page-001Waving habits also differ by gender and age. Results showed that men were significantly more likely to wave or nod as a form of acknowledgement, whereas women prefer to smile. Additionally, runners age 35-54 were significantly more likely to say they always acknowledge others than those ages 18-24. When acknowledgement does happen, nearly half of runners age 18-24 choose to smile, while runners age 35 and older prefer to physically wave or nod.

As part of its new “Wave” campaign, Mizuno is encouraging runners to wave and spread positivity throughout the running community. The results of the survey are consistent with Mizuno’s belief that every wave has the power to make an impact, big and small. According to the 2016 Sports, Fitness, and Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report, the running community is over 48 million strong in the Unites States alone.

“Waving is a physical representation of the unspoken bond that all runners share,” said Kim Hoey, Senior Director, Brand Marketing & Management – Running, Mizuno USA. “The data obtained through this survey shows that a wave in itself can indeed make a positive difference throughout the running community, which encompasses many millions of people. A common belief in the positive power of running unites those who run, and Mizuno hopes to foster an even greater sense of support and camaraderie amongst runners by encouraging the simple act of a wave.”

Check out the latest ad for the “Wave” campaign here on Mizuno’s YouTube page. Follow Mizuno Running on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your #MizunoWave stories and keep up with “runner’s waves” in 2016.

Happy Global Running Day! Wave on!!

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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