Garmin Smartwatch Data Highlights Positive Health Benefits of Running

We’re all familiar with the “runner’s high,” and now we have data that underscores how running boosts our bodies and minds.

At Garmin, we know running. We pioneered the modern running watch, and our global community of runners trusts us to track their performance, training and health metrics. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Global Running Day is one of our favorite days of the year. To celebrate, we have some great news to share about the health benefits of your favorite pastime, courtesy of the Garmin Connect™ community:

Positive Impacts of Running on Health and Well-being Metrics

The more you run, the more your biometrics improve.* Within the running community, those who log more than 50 miles a week have the highest average sleep scores and peak Body Battery™ readings — as well as the lowest average resting heart rates1 and stress scores. Even runners who record fewer than 10 miles a week still see noteworthy improvements across all health categories compared with those who don’t record runs at all.

Running and Sleep Score

Globally, we spend more than $5 billion a year on sleep aids, according to research firm Statista. But it turns out running just a few miles a week might be key to a better night’s sleep — and it’s free. Garmin customers who run up to 10 miles a week recorded average sleep scores of 72 (out of 100), which is 4 points higher than customers who didn’t log any runs at all. And the more you hit the pavement, the better your sleep score. Users who recorded more than 50 miles a week have average sleep scores of over 75. That’s a 10% improvement over those who didn’t run.

Want more good news? The benefits of running on shut-eye appear to be immediate, with sleep scores recorded on nights after a user logged a run averaging 2 points higher for both men and women than overall average sleep scores. Check out the chart below to see for yourself. 

Running and Average Resting Heart Rate

It’s no secret that elite athletes enjoy lower resting heart rates (RHRs) than the average person. Look no further than this Garmin blog post for the data-based evidence. But our latest Garmin Connect deep dive finds that even so-called casual runners may be doing their hearts a favor, with average RHRs improving by 3 beats per minute (BPM) for those who record up to 10 miles a week. And the heart picture shapes up nicely for consistent runners from there — with athletes who put in more than 50 miles per week enjoying a 10-BPM swing over non-runners.

Running and Average Stress Score

Unmanaged stress can lead to a range of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. In 2024, the market for stress-relief supplements in the U.S. is expected to exceed $600 million, according to But one simple and free way to help reduce your stress is to lace up and go for a run. According to Garmin Connect data, users who run up to 10 miles a week record average stress scores 3 points lower than their non-running counterparts. And it appears that the more you run, the more your stress score improves. Users who run more than 50 miles a week have stress scores almost 30% lower than non-runners!

Running and Body Battery Energy Monitoring

If you’re as obsessed with checking your Body Battery score as we are at Garmin — and you happen to be a runner — you’re going to love this news. The more you run, the higher your average peak Body Battery. We know we feel better when we manage to pound the pavement on the daily, and now we have empirical data we never knew we needed. Runners who log up to 10 miles a week have an average peak Body Battery score of 73, while those who don’t log runs have average peak readings of 64. And for those who put in more than 50 miles, the average peak Body Battery reading is 83, almost 20 points higher than those who don’t run.

Fitness Age and Average Years Younger

If you aren’t familiar with the Garmin fitness age feature, you’ll want to check it out after seeing the effect running can have on it. Serious runners who record more than 50 miles a week enjoy an average fitness age reduction of more than 7 years, while casual runners see their fitness age drop by 3 years, on average.

Global Locale-based Running Insights

Distance per Run

Every year Garmin runners put in some serious mileage, and we have the data to prove it. With millions of runs recorded in Garmin Connect over the past year,** the average distance logged was 4.6 miles. Based on an average stride of 2.5 feet, that’s about 9,500 steps!

Runners in France logged the longest average distance per run at 5.43 miles. Other locales with bragging rights to average run distances of more than 5 miles include Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Hungary and The Netherlands. Check out the chart below for the top 20 locales!

Average Distance per Run: Top 20 Locales

Pace per Mile

The average pace per mile logged in Garmin Connect for all users is 9 minutes, 36 seconds. That’s significantly better than the average 12- to 15-minute mile pace for beginning runners, according the, but a far cry from the 3-minute, 43-second world record.

Runners in Ireland logged the fastest average pace per mile at 9 minutes, 6 seconds, according to Garmin Connect data. Other locales to record average pace times under 9 minutes, 30 seconds include Portugal, Italy, Spain, Japan, Denmark, the U.K., Chile, Australia and The Netherlands. Check out the chart below to see how your homeland fared.

Average Pace per Mile: Top 20 Locales

So, whether you’re just starting your running journey or getting ready for your next ultramarathon, Garmin has a running watch to fit your needs. From the easy-to-use Forerunner® 165 to the Enduro 2, each and every Garmin running watch is purpose-built and packed with performance features designed to help our customers master every mile. For our full lineup of running watches, visit

*Garmin Connect user data recorded from Jan. 1, 2024, to April 17, 2024.
**Data recorded from April 1, 2023 to March 30, 2024.