Can ‘Jogging’ Kill You?

Not all doctors were in favor of running back in the 1960s. Photo: U.S. News and World Report

A leading medical expert thought so back in 1969.

As the United States was undergoing major political and social change in the 1960s, one other thing was going on with people in the country: they were picking up running.

The new “jogging” fad started sweeping the nation and as a result, medical experts began to weigh in on the effects of this sustained exercise.

According to a report from the August 11, 1969 edition of U.S. News and World Report, Dr. Harry Johnson expressed his reservations about running.

In fact, he thought it would be very dangerous for those who were out of shape.

“One evening in a suburb of Washington, D.C., the police went from door to door asking residents if they had ever seen a man jogging in the neighborhood and, if so, where he lived,” he said in the magazine interview. “They had found him dead on the road.”

He continued: “[A]ll cigarette packages carry a notice that cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health. Obviously, this hasn’t deterred many smokers. I suspect that most every new jogger just starts jogging. He figures that the precaution of a medical checkup applies to the other fellow, not to him.”

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