Excessive impact forces during running can lead to acute and chronic related injuries. These injuries can include:

-Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

-Iliotibial Band Syndrome


-Stress fracture

Those who run with high impact forces typically demonstrate a lower rate of knee bend during “loading”, higher “braking” forces due to over-striding, and excessive vertical motion during the running cycle. Running with music can also be a contributing factor, as we don’t hear ourselves so we don’t try and reduce our impact.

A recent study, published in Journal of Sport and Orthopedic Physical Therapy, demonstrated a reduce impact force with a simple decibel meter during running. They utilized a decibel meter app on an Ipad, which allowed for visual feedback. The simple visual feedback allows the runner to subconsciously alter their running mechanics to reduce the impact without thinking too much, which can cause form to become too “robotic” and often less natural.

Listening to how loud you run is a simple feedback tool we can all use, via app or just taking the headphones out, and has been shown to be as beneficial as gait retraining methods. So next time you’re out running, listen to how loud you run, and see if you can run more quietly.



J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(8):565–569. Epub 6 Jul 2017. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7275